Inside the $126,000 Oscar gift bag this year
It’s that time of the year again. Oscar night is this Sunday, and indie favorite Everything Everywhere All at Once is facing off against blockbuster hit Top Gun: Maverick. Although the winners will take home the iconic gold-plated statuette, all 26 of the nominees, including Michelle Yeoh, Austin Butler and Ana de Armas, will get a lavish gift bag.
These aren’t just regular party favors. In 2023, nominees got an “Everyone Wins” hamper with items totalling $126,000. They ranged from $5 for coconut water, all the way to $40,000 Canadian getaway.
The gift bags are created by Distinctive Assets, a Los Angeles-based marketing company, which has curated a hamper since 2002. It also creates swanky bags for award shows like the Grammys and Tonys. This year’s gift bag is certainly luxurious, but it’s still worth about 10% less than last year’s, which was valued at over $137,000.
This year’s gift bag covers everything from retail to real estate, and includes an Italian getaway, fresh Japanese bread, cosmetic surgery vouchers, and a plot of land in Australia. Here’s a look at some of the items:
A Canadian getaway
Courtesy of The Lifestyle
The most expensive part of the gift bag is a vacation worth $40,000 at “ultra modern” private estate in Ottawa for three nights. The property provides access to lakes, hills and forests, and a garage with two classic cars.
Courtesy of Benigna Parfums
It also includes a gender-neutral fragrance worth about $400. The bottles have a crystal cap with emeralds and rubies around it.
Courtesy of Bateel
A gift box from Bateel comes with seven types of Arabian dates with fillings from caramelized pecans to apricots, and retails for $435.
Body sculpting voucher
Courtesy of ArtLipo
ArtLipo’s services, including liposuction and body sculpting, can be redeemed with a $12,000 voucher in the gift bag.
Courtesy of The Rescue Kit Company
The Rescue Kit Company’s Photo Shoot kit has an assortment of products for anyone who wants to be camera-ready on the go. It includes stain removing wipes, sewing essentials and more, and is worth $90.
A family and friends vacation in Italy
Courtesy of Faro Punta Imperatore
The hamper includes a three-night stay at Faro Punta Imperatore Lighthouse in Italy for up to seven people in addition to the Oscar nominee. It’s worth $9,000.
Luxury skincare products
Courtesy of Miage Skincare
Miage’s skincare gift set includes an eye elixir and night cream. It is worth $515.
Courtesy of Ginza Nishikawa
An $18 loaf of Japanese shokupan, or milk bread, from Los Angeles-based bakery, Ginza Nishikawa, is for the food-loving gift bag winners.
Why bother with the gift bags?
Let’s be real—each of the recipients of the gift bag could probably afford each of those items on their own, too. So why the jazzy, six-figure hamper?
Distinctive Assets founder and “Gift Guru” Lash Fary thinks the gifts are less about the monetary value and more about a symbiotic relationship between movie stars and brands that want exposure.
“While this gift bag does, as always, have an impressive value, that is neither our focus nor goal. This is a straightforward win/win,” Fary said in a statement. “These nominees are in a unique position to help participating brands immeasurably by simply wearing, using and talking about these products.”
Brands need to pay Distinctive Assets $4,000 to be included in the hamper and there are no promises that the recipients will promote them. In one instance of how a brand gets exposure, Viola Davis used the voucher in her “Everyone Wins” bag from the 2018 Oscars to visit Koloa Landing Resort in Kauai.
Some of the gifts aren’t just material items either. Nominees get a plot of land in Australia that is intended to contribute to reforestation efforts. And the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) neck pillow supports the effort to curb monkey imports for lab testing.
Thank you to @koloalanding and #holohologrill for a wonderful stay. #KoloaLandingResort #Koloa #Hawaii #AlohaKoloa #Kauai #Travel pic.twitter.com/NJM6CUufnx
— Viola Davis (@violadavis) March 21, 2018
As for their part, nominees often call to make sure that they get their gift bag, even if they don’t walk away with the golden statue.
“We get calls from about 25% to 30% of the nominees each year who want to make sure we know where to get their bag to them,” he told CNBC last March.
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