Inside The $215,000 Oscars 2020 Gift Bag

Hayley C. Cuccinello

FEB 1, 2020

From An Antarctic Cruise To A Gold Vape Pen To A Smart Bra

The brands are on the hook for the cost of all gift items, ranging from a box of cookies to plastic surgery to all-inclusive trips, in addition to a participation fee paid to Distinctive Assets. The cost starts at $4,000 and soars to $50,000 for “presenting sponsors”—a significant amount, to be sure, but a rounding error compared to the reported $2 million-plus price tag for a 30-second commercial during the Oscars telecast. After all, if just one of the recipients is seen using a gift, it’s well worth the price of admission for most brands. For example, Viola Davis, who won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Fences in 2017, took a Kauai vacation at Koloa Landing Resort that was provided by Distinctive Assets, and tweeted about it. Mark Ruffalo, nominated for Foxcatcher in 2015, posted on Instagram about his stay at the Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria in Italy, another Distinctive Assets sponsor. Amy Adams, nominated for American Hustle in 2013, was photographed that year wearing a gifted T-shirt while going to the gym. As for what’s in the bag this year, the selections include such physical gifts as Hfactor “hydrogen-infused” water ($29.99 a pouch), Hotsy Totsy Haus amethyst bath bombs ($75) and a brainwave-sensing meditation headband by Muse ($250).The nominees also receive vouchers to redeem the big-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. (Dame Helen Mirren is actually the “godmother” of the Scenic Eclipse.) The expedition, provided by Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours, is valued at $78,190; it is the most extravagant gift in Distinctive Assets’ history. Destinations include Antarctica and the Mediterranean. For intrepid guests, there is also a trip on a submarine capable of diving 1,000 feet. In recent years, the Oscars gift bag also has made headlines for its cannabis gifts. This year, nominees can unwind with chocolate edibles by Coda Signature and make CBD drinks with simple syrup by CBD Barkeep and hemp balm mixed with CBD oil and essential oils by SHEbd. There is also a $150 gold-plated vape pen from Hollowtips, sure to be enjoyed by lead actor nominee Leonardo DiCaprio (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood), who famously vaped at the Screen Actors Guild awards in 2016. “Leo was our inspiration,” Fary says. “I’m sure if he wants it upgraded to full gold, Hollowtips would be happy to do it for him.” Not that the celebrities need the free free swag. “[People ask] why are we giving rich people things they could afford and it’s so not about being able to afford it,” Fary explains. “You know, Jennifer Lawrence doesn’t need $20 million per film, but she earned that because of her marquee name.”

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