Inside the Wild $125,000 Oscars Gift Bag for 2023
The Oscars, often underwhelming without a spontaneous brawl, is currently underway. While nominees vie for the coveted golden statuette, there’s another prize in store for them: a gift bag so lavish, it could make a royal family member green with envy. Even if you don’t get to make a speech on the podium, you could still go home feeling like a winner, thanks to a complementary swag worth more than most people’s annual salary. It sounds like quite the deal, doesn’t it?
The Everyone Wins gift bags have been a staple at the Oscars since 2002, thanks to the generosity of Los Angeles-based marketing company Distinctive Assets. And by generosity, we mean a calculated marketing ploy to buy the affection of the rich and famous. After all, what better way to get a celebrity endorsement than to give away a free trip to Antarctica or a year’s worth of Audi rentals?
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This year’s haul is worth an estimated USD$126,000 (AU$191,243), which is a 10% drop from last year’s extravaganza and almost half of the all-time high of USD$225,000 (USD$261,000 in today’s dollars) in 2020. But let’s be honest, it’s still more money than most of us will ever see in our lifetimes. And what’s in the bag, you ask? Oh, just your run-of-the-mill plastic surgery procedures, rejuvenation treatments, and trips to far-flung destinations like a 10-acre Canadian estate worth USD$40,000 or a restored Italian lighthouse worth USD$9000. You know, the usual stuff.
But it’s not all about the expensive gifts – the bag also includes some budget-friendly items, like a pack of Clif Thins and a loaf of Japanese milk bread. Because nothing screams “I’m rich and famous” like a USD$18 loaf of bread.
The Value of Oscars Swag Bags Over the Years
- 2014 – US$102,000 (AU$155,000)
- 2015 – US$215,000 (AU$325,000)
- 2016 – US$235,000 (AU$355,000)
- 2017 – US$123,000 (U$185,000)
- 2018 – US$121,000 (AU$183,500)
- 2019 – US$176,000 (AU$265,000)
- 2020 – US$261,000 (AU$395,000)
- 2021 – US$235,000 (AU$355,000)
- 2022 – US$149,000 (AU$225,000)
- 2023 – US$126,000 (AU$190,000)
The founder of Distinctive Assets, the self-proclaimed “Sultan of Swag” Lash Fary, reportedly came up with the idea of giving away these gift bags as a way to insert himself into the Oscars without actually having to do anything with the Academy. And thus, a tradition was born. Nowadays, only the top five nominees in the acting and directing categories get the coveted gift bags, but that’s still enough to make most of us mere mortals rage with desire.
“We asked ourselves, ‘How can we be a part of this without doing something with the Academy?’ So we came up with this idea of gifting the top nominees,” Fary told Forbes. “That way, if they lost, they got this awesome consolation prize. And if they win, they get this as icing on the cake.”
Of course, the real winners here are the brands that get included in the gift bags. For between USD$4,000 and USD$35,000, these companies get to buy their way into the good graces of Hollywood’s elite. And if they’re lucky, they might even get a celebrity endorsement out of it. Just ask Amy Adams, who was photographed wearing a gifted “Strong Is The New Skinny” shirt, or Viola Davis and Mark Ruffalo, who shared photos of their free trips on Instagram. It’s a small price to pay for the chance to be associated with the biggest names in showbiz.
Highlights of the 2023 Oscars ‘Everyone Wins’ Nominee Gift Bag
- All-inclusive rural Canada stay at The Lifestyle estate (USD$40,000/AU$60,516.00)
- Three-night stay at a lighthouse in Italy’s Faro Punta Imperatore (USD$9,000/AU$13,660)
- Australian land plots for conservation purposes; size and location undisclosed (value unknown)
- Free project management for renovation or construction projects provided by Maison Construction. (USD$25,000/AU$37,950)
- Range of rejuvenation treatments with Dr Konstantin’s Luxe Upper East Side Office (USD$10,000/AU$15,180)
- Celebrity Arms™ Sculpting liposuction procedure by Art Lipo (USD$12,000/AU$18,220)
- Year’s supply of Oxygenetix (USD$12,000/AU$18,220)
- Hair treatments with Dr Alan Baumam (USD$7,000/AU$10,630)
- At-home “longevity” testing with KnowingLabs (USD$1,800/AU$2,7300)
- 18-karat gold bracelet with customised initial beads and gemstones from Rareté Studios Jewelry (USD$1,200/AU$1,8200)
- Jo Bowlby’s A Book For Life (USD$630/AU$956)
- Ginza Nishikawa milk bread (USD$18/AU$27)
The 2023 Oscars, also known as the 95th Academy Awards, will be held on March 12th at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. The ceremony will be hosted by none other than the seasoned television presenter, Jimmy Kimmel, who will be taking the stage for the third time.
Let’s just hope the actors keep their hands to themselves this year.
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