Oscars

At $47,803, the Value of Oscar's ‘Swag Bag’ Hits a Five-Year Low


At $47,803, the Value of Oscar's ‘Swag Bag’ Hits a Five-Year Low

Condoms, cleaning supplies, and circus classes for the kids—call it chicken soup for the Oscar loser. (Being a movie star just isn’t what it used to be.) At least these treasures are being packed along with more luxurious indulgences—such as trips to Australia, Hawaii, and Mexico, alcohol, and a stay at a weight-loss retreat—in this year’s “Everyone Wins at the Oscars Nominee Gift Bag,” which Los Angeles marketing company Distinctive Assets prepares for contenders who don’t go home with a statue. The total value of this year’s motley “swag bag:” $47,803.

Oscar swagCourtesy Distinctive AssetsOscar swag

While it’s hard to balk at $47,000 worth of free stuff—even if it includes a $3.99 bottle of Windex cleaner—the bag has hit its lowest value in five years. In fact, it has decreased every year since 2010, when the goods were worth a record $93,108, thanks to a $45,000 safari tour. Lash Fary, founder of Distinctive Assets, says the value fluctuates mostly based on what trips he chooses to include. “We also went through a three-year period, 2010 to 2012, [when] we included more vacation packages than we ever had before in any gift bag, and that was scaled back slightly this year,” he wrote in an e-mail.

The pricey safari may have been a generous offer, though it wasn’t exactly a hit. Fary says tour company Premier Tours received several inquiries about it, but only Robert Downey Jr. booked it, and he ended up canceling. Premier Tours is not participating this year.

Here’s a look at select swag in the Everyone Wins at the Oscars Nominee Gift Bag over the years, which has tried to get the rich and famous to sample everything from exotic vacations to food for their cats:

2013 (Valued at $47,803): trips to Hawaii, Mexico, and Lizard Island and El Questro Homestead in Australia, a one-week stay at a fitness and weight-loss retreat, appointments for injectable fillers, a one-year membership to London’s Heathrow Airport’s private VIP service, Krystal Klear water filtration system, acupuncture and aromatherapy sessions, all-kid circus classes, personal training sessions, condoms, a bottle of Bonita platinum tequila, tennis shoes, and “portion-control” dinnerware, reported Reuters.

2012 (Valued at $61,614): Elephant tour in Botswana, luxury hotel stay in Mexico, interior design service, cake, one-week stay at a fitness and weight-loss retreat, acupuncture and aromatherapy sessions, beauty treatments by a plastic surgeon, unlimited blowouts for a year, anti-aging cream, Disaronno liqueur, Purell in gold bejeweled sleeve, and Spanx, reported Time.

2011 (Valued at $70,665): trips to the Maldives and Cayo Espanto (a private island), cookies, slimming cream, personal training and fitness retreat, skin products, water, Kim Kardashian signature watch, and nasal-care products, reported radaronline.com.

2010 (Valued at $93,108): $45,000 Safari tour, trips to South Africa, Monaco, and Connecticut, Fancy Feast cat food, dog studio photography package, designer dog toys, Oral-B electronic toothbrush, wrinkle cream, 10 personal training sessions, and one-week fitness boot camp.

2009 (Valued at $59,389): African safari tour, Galapagos Islands tour, stays in Colorado’s Dunton Hot Springs, St. Barts, Connecticut, and San Manuel Casino, pet food, coconut water, Blu-ray player and DVDs, vacuum cleaner, and hair cosmetics.

Venessa-wong-190x190
Wong is an associate editor for Bloomberg Businessweek. Follow her on Twitter @venessawwong.

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