Only a select few will get to take home the gold at the 90th Academy Awards on Sunday, but the losers will not go home empty-handed. For the past 16 years, Distinctive Assets has rewarded Oscar nominees with a lavish assortment of freebies, ranging from vibrators to all-inclusive vacations to diamond jewelry. The "Everyone Wins" Nominee Gift Bags are sent to all 25 nominees in the acting and directing categories in the week leading up to the Oscars ceremony, which will take place on March 4 at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles this year.
The participating companies donate all the items and have to pay a promotional fee of at least $4,000 to have their products included. But for brands looking for celebrity product placement, it's worth the expense.
"We are not gifting Oscar nominees out of a sense of philanthropy, " Distinctive Assets founder Lash Fary explained to Forbes in 2016. "We are gifting them for the same reason that they are paid upwards of $20 million for a single film...because their personal brand has value as a commodity."
Distinctive Assets takes great pains to make it clear that the Academy has no association with the gift bags. In 2016, the Academy sued Distinctive Assets for trademark infringement but they have since reached a settlement.
Since the legal drama, Distinctive Assets has also toned down its extravagant image. At its peak in 2016, each bag was valued at approximately $230,000.Distinctive Assets no longer discloses individual product prices and the bag's overall value other than stating it is more than $100,000.
“A great gift has nothing to do with the retail value,” Fary said in a release. “For years we have been breaking one of the cardinal rules of gift giving by disclosing the price tag. Instead, we are trying to start a new tradition by simply celebrating the fun and festive nature of this legendary gift bag.”
1) 12-night Tanzania vacation for two
This package is the most expensive gift, costing more than $40,000. The journey includes spa services, a private safari guide, wild game drives and a hot air balloon safari with champagne breakfast.
2) Week-long stay at the GD spa
This relaxing retreat for costs $8,850. The Spa donates 100% of net profits to children's advocacy organisations.
3) DNA kit
The kit includes over 75 genetic reports about your health, traits and ancestry.
4) Six-night and seven-day stay in Kauai
Nominees and their guests get to stay in a two-bedroom villa with an ocean view. Additional perks include a zipline adventure and helicopter tour.
5) 10,000-bowl donation
These donations are made in the nominee's name to an animal shelter or rescue of their choice. Business Insider values this item at $8,000.