Wednesday, November 18, 2015

One of the many perks (benefits) of being a celebrity or VIP is that everyone wants to give you gifts. Those gifts are called swag.

Swag is free stuff, promotional merchandise given away by retailers, industry representatives, or manufacturers to people in high-profile positions. This is done in hopes of favorable publicity for the donors and their products.

There is no debate that swag was originally an acronym, S.W.A.G., but what do those letters stand for? Souvenirs, Wearables, And Gifts? Stuff We All Get? Whatever the origin, swag is now a word.

If you’re an artist nominated for an Academy Award, you are the toast of the film industry. (Toast here means that you are very popular or held in high regard by a particular group of people.) Not everyone can go home with an Oscar, but at least all the nominees can count on receiving an extravagant gift bag worth over $160,000. Here is what the 2015 Acadamy Award nominees received in their swag bags:

1) $12,500: A luxury outdoor vacation which includes cycling, hiking, hot air balloon rides and horseback riding.
2) $11,500: A nine-night Italian vacation package
3) $20,000: A year’s worth of car rentals from Audi
4) $1,200: A Matrone Cycling designer bike
5) $800: Candy Vixen gift certificate
6) $280: Rouge Maple package
7) $75: Ambrosia Apples
8) $20,000: Astrology reading from Enigma Life
9) A $10,000 meal donation of Halo Natural Pet Food to a shelter or rescue of the nominee’s choice
10) $5,000: A “Couples Love Shot” from "Vampire Facelift" inventor Dr. Charles Runels
11) $4,068: Ventura Liposuction
12) $270: A hot pink “slow watch”
13) $100: A Pop Dental sonic toothbrush
14) $20: A signed copy of “Archibald’s Next Big Thing” by “Veep” star Tony Hale
15) $40: Ibiza Soul flip-flops
16) $5: Dove Dry Spray Antiperspiran

You don’t have to be famous to receive swag gifts. You and I get swag too: gift bags at conventions, T-shirts, CDs, or cosmetic samples. Nothing I’ve received has ever been as luxurious as any Hollywood celebrity swag however.

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