In a world that is driven by celebrity, it makes sense that famous people tend to attract a great deal of attention to their clothing and accessories. However, the public keeps its ever-present eye on so much more than what celebrities are wearing nowadays. Many of the glitterati now make those exorbitant Italian sports car payments by essentially selling their lifestyles—in all facets.
Whether a celebrity is known for their fit figure, travel skills or fashion sense, there’s no doubt that their fans will be taking in every moment of their success. After all, with so many celebrities reporting aspects of their daily lives on social media, it seems as if their platforms have increased. For savvy marketers who want to expand their reach, there’s nothing quite like a celebrity endorsement to spike interest and generate those much-needed early sales for a start-up.
Although many people have become accustomed to the idea of clothing filling the swag bags, the truth is that apparel items now comprise a relatively small percentage of each swag bag. Award show honorees can now expect to receive bags that are filled with items ranging from diamond-encrusted sunglasses to car rental vouchers and trips to Israel. The sky is the limit with swag bags these days, and it’s not like celebrities have to tote them home from the show, either. Swag bag firms make the entire process as easy as possible.
If you’ve started a business that is providing a service of some sort, then why not create some beautiful vouchers to give a celebrity yearlong access to whatever services you’re providing? When the paparazzi happens to catch a snap of the celebrity stepping out to your place of business, then the freebies will be worth their weight in gold. In a world that has become increasingly digital, more traditional means of finding influencers have fallen by the wayside, and your target demographic probably possesses a very short attention span. Celebrity endorsements are disruptive in a good way.
All of the gifting companies now have an established protocol for reaching out to celebs and making sure that they receive their gifts in a safe and timely manner—regardless of how big or small they are. Whether the items are being dropped off directly at an actor’s residence or they’re being shipped to the publicist’s office, you can bet that the actor in question will be excited to see their freebies arrive. Although it may seem surprising to some, it turns out that celebrities love getting free things as well.
Although we have become accustomed to hearing about swag bags that cost north of $100,000, it is not necessary for you to have a luxury company in order to get your products distributed in hot awards show swag bag. In fact, many of the firms who put together swag bags prefer to have a healthy mix of items to keep celebrities engaged as they peruse their gifts. After all, when someone has already received nine necklaces, they’re bound to want to look at something new. This is where start-up companies can capitalize, putting some of their more low-budget items in the bag.
The magic of a swag bag item is that it is, quite literally, the gift that keeps on giving. Once an item or a gift card becomes part of a gift bag, it automatically earns a certain kind of allure. Instead of distributing free items to a large demographic and hoping for the best, why not dial up a few swag companies and see if your products might be right for an award show?
When your item is placed into a swag bag, it becomes part of a targeted campaign that is designed to hone in on the top personalities in the entertainment industry. If you’re extremely lucky, you may have a star mention your brand on social media, which is the ultimate goal. However, these kinds of instances are few and far between—and you will probably find that your free promotion will do just fine without such an obvious endorsement.
Many celebrities who receive gift bags are in the upper strata of society, especially when it comes to their income. If they decide to pass on your item, the good news is that they are surrounded by an army of assistants, make-up artists, stylists and others who will gladly accept it. Now that your product has the added dazzle of being included in a fancy swag bag, those assistants, drivers and others will most likely brag to their friends that their celebrity boss has bestowed an extraordinary gift upon them—your product. In a fast-paced world that makes it difficult for product names to “stick”, this is the kind of publicity that you simply cannot buy in any other way.
As soon as you have an idea of which product or service you’d like to place in a swag bag, you’ll want to make inquiries and find out which PR firm specializes in making connections with gift bags and gifting suites for award shows. The publicist will then put you in touch with the company that actually places your items in the bag. All in all, you may end up spending about $20,000 to participate in the process—and your contribution will have to be carefully vetted ahead of time.
In order to better your chances of participating in a gifting opportunity, you’ll want to reach out to your contacts as soon as possible. Most companies will start getting the items together within about seven weeks of the big show, so you’ll want to give your company ample time to make connections. Although items can be added to swag bags at the last minute, this is often the exception rather than the rule. In order for your gift to be added right before the show, it will need to be very different from any of the other gifts being offered. Since businesses have become aware of how profitable it can ultimately be to get their products into a gift bag, you must be aware that it’s now extremely competitive.
Ahead of time, you’ll want to make sure that your company’s online presence is “award show friendly.” Clean up your social media accounts and website so that people from the swag bag company will view your product as a premium item. The more original your item is, the more likely it will be that it captures the imagination of the tastemakers making the final decision. Work with your PR firm to determine how much your want your product to be pushed. If it’s an item that does its own PR—or it’s something discreet such as a plastic surgery voucher—chances are that you’ll be better off just including it in the bag and not attempting to have celebrities pose with it. The vast array of items always delights the celebrities who receive a swag bag.
Although many people don’t know this, celebrities are now required to pay taxes on their swag bags. Make it worth their while by only selecting your most magnificent products to put into the bag. The old adage that you never get a second chance to make a first impression has never been more true than in this scenario.
Unless you’ve secured placement in a gifting suite, you won’t be able to explain your products to celebrities. Once they pluck your gift out of the bag, it’s make-or-break time. If the item doesn’t have a self-evident function, you’ll want to include detailed instructions with it. A recent award show swag bag item included bathroom toiletries that were very intimate; along with the fancy box including the spray and other items, celebrities also received a concise instruction book that explained exactly how each product was to be applied. When the stakes are this high, you need to use every resource you possibly can.
Placing your item into a gift bag may not immediately produce measurable results. After all, it’s not a sponsored social media post or other generic way of getting the word out about your business. There are no definitive ways to measure what kind of impact you are having with the product placement, but chances are that you will see results soon after, as well as hearing anecdotal evidence that the campaign worked.
When it comes to swag bag product placement, you’ll have to set aside your preference for hard numbers and realize that this is a special way of promoting yourself. It is a unique strategy that will build up your business in ways you probably can’t even anticipate, but patience will serve you well. If you’re putting together a long-range marketing plan and you’re truly committed to your company, this is an excellent way to get the ball rolling for your marketing master plan.
Once you go for the product placement in one swag bag, you may decide that it’s a good idea to opt for even more. When you have developed a solid relationship with the swag bag company, you may be able to get your items placed into many bags. Consider what your ideal demographic is, and then go from there. Your gift may not be a fit for every award show, so you’ll want to think about your ultimate goals—and your budget—when thinking about placing your item into a new swag bag.
In a world that is filtered and curated, award shows offer us the magic of seeing our favorite celebrities unscripted and unedited. When ordinary people watch award shows from home, they are reminded of their own extraordinary potential and ultimate goals. When you include your company’s items in one of these award show swag bags, you align yourself with some of the best pop culture moments happening in the moment.
Although it may seem small at the time, your business will benefit greatly in the years that follow. With mentions among some of the greatest creative people in the world, your products will dazzle the masses, hopefully attracting success to you for the long haul. When you’re serious about promoting a product—and you truly believe in it—there is so much that you can achieve through placement in swag bags. After all, a few excellent customers are better than a mass of clients who feel lukewarm about your services.
In today’s rapidly expanding world of marketing, the key to true, lasting success is building up the most loyal army of fans that you possibly can. If these fans happen to be celebrities with social currency, all the better. When you feel confident in your product and you know that a swag bag might help to spread the magic of your business, then it’s time to get to work.