Thursday, February 19, 2009

It's Hard Out There For a Celebrity

Times are tough. And who knows that better than celebrities. For this Sunday's Oscars, they're going to have to tighten their belts a little. And by "tighten their belts" I mean "get less swag."

From a marketing viewpoint, I understand the swag thing. Companies want to give stuff to celebrities, who will hopefully love their product and become devoted fans. Then maybe the celebrity will be photographed with the aforementioned product and their fans will run out and buy it. Makes sense.

Even so, it is kind of obnoxious for celebrities to get free things for showing up to an event. An event in which they talk about how great they are. Especially when they're probably wearing a free gown and loaned jewels. Of course, I would probably do the same thing in their position. In fact, I'd probably go mad with power and demand that people give me free things all the time. I'd probably end up like Norma Desmond.

But now the celebrities are going to have to deal with less, just like the rest of us.*

"Freebies this year will be scaled back from the 'old days' -- before this year's recession and last year's writers' strike -- to include a high-end vacuum cleaner worth several hundred dollars, a handbag worth about $200, a toothbrush sanitizing gadget for around $30 and handmade jewelry.

But one of the biggest suites in Hollywood is still going all out. Gavin Keilly, CEO of GBK Productions, told CNN that plenty of high-end products were scheduled for his lounge, which caters to nominees and presenters, [including]: $10,000 vacations to a destination spa, $8,000 to $18,000 watches, and a year's worth of Botox, Restylane and microdermabrasion valued at $3,000."

At least GBK is donating a portion of its lounge profits to charity. And some celebrities have spoken out against swag in general. But it's still mind-boggling that someone can get thousands of dollars worth of stuff just by showing up to an awards show.

Apparently the worst of the economy is yet to come. Maybe next year, swag will be like the goodie bags at a kid's 7th birthday party. Tootsie rolls for everyone!



Paula, Rachel. Dor, Rene said...

So what if celebs get the prime stuff. If they like it maybe their fans will loosen up and buy something too and that'll help everybody.