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The Swag Bag

The Academy Awards, The Golden Globes, The American Music Awards, and an endless rollcall of awards for the entertainment industry all come with a behind the scenes gifts for the attendees. Known as swag bags these curated bags of free samples are anything but token gifts. In 2020 a Forbes magazine article estimated that the contents of the Oscars Swag Bag totaled $225,000. That was 80k from the previous year.

The recipients of the Oscar Swag Bags are the winners and losers of the prestigious awards given by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. All 25 Oscar nominees are on the list to receive this gilded gift “bag”. These invited guests receive the swag bags for attending the gala event, yet The Academy has no hand in assembling or giving out the Swag Bags.

The Swag Bags for the Oscars and a list of other awards events and high-end fund raisers is overseen by a marketing specialty company, Distinctive Assets. Founded over two decades ago by Lash Fary, who is now known in L.A. circles as the “sultan of Swag,” started with gifts that actually fit in bags. Today the swag goes beyond what can fit in a “bag.” The collection of swag starts arriving on the doorsteps of the Oscar nominees weeks before the event.

Who Pays For The Swag?

Distinctive Assets has the envious job of assembling these swag “bags” for the entertainers and wealthy elite, they do not buy the contents. Not only are all the contents of the swag gifts donated, but all the companies also pay a participation fee to have their products placed in the curated swag “bags.”

Fees to have “free samples” placed inside the swag bags for the 2020 Oscars started at $4000 and fetched a high of $50,000. The vast array of curated swag for the 2020 Oscars included:

  • Hfactor “hydrogen-infused” water retailing for $29.99 a pouch
  • Hotsy Totsy Haus amethyst bath bombs with a retail value of $75 each
  • Vouchers for the bigger ticket items such as a 12-day cruise on the Scenic Eclipse, a yacht for 220 guests, with butler service, two helicopters and a spa valued at $78,190 the most expensive swag ever to make its way into a gift “bag” to date.

The gift selection is curated by the marketing professionals at Distinctive Assets who work a diverse range of companies to get products into the hands of the wealthy, influencers and celebrities. A single commercial during an awards show can cost a company upwards of $2 million. If one celebrity mentions, is seen with or comments on a “gift” they received in the swag “bag,” the ensuing publicity can be worth more than the cost of a commercial and less than their “donated” free samples.

Get a Swag Box From Gathr

Every adult can sign up to get a “swag package” from Gathr, the curators of free samples for the stars of everyday life. Gathr cannot guarantee that the curated swag you will receive in the mail will be valued at $225,000, but they can guarantee that you will receive products from companies that want your opinions.

Companies contribute their products to the curated Gathr Membership swag boxes in exchange for your participation in surveys, posting reviews and taking part in marketing research. Sign up for Gathr FREE by filling out a detailed demographic survey about yourself and product usage.