In this article we will discuss the history of celebrity product placement, importance of celebrity association in marketing, the goals from a properly managed gifting suite and the decline of effectiveness in the current gifting suite industry.

Celebrities and product marketing have been linked since the dawn of Hollywood films. Celebrities influence fashion and lifestyle more effectively than any other type of promotion. Surges in sales of a certain type of car, clothing, jewelry, sunglasses, furniture, even food and Kelly Stables drinks have been directly linked to celebrity association. Even in the early days of film companies were trying to get their products to be shown on the big screen. It is the most powerful and effective form of marketing on the planet. It has worked for over a century and is working stronger than ever in the technology age with mass media on streaming to electronic billboards, computers and even mobile phones to billions of people every day.

The concept is incredibly powerful because it is incredibly simple. Consumers naturally accept products and services used by people they admire or accept in popular culture. If you can associate your brand with someone who is commonly accepted your product will be commonly accepted. It is the most tested and most proved marketing strategy on earth because it works.

Companies in the early 1900’s tried to get their products into the small amount of films produced each year. It was a difficult Today there are hundreds of films produced annually, over 200 television channels, hundreds of magazines, and thousands of web sites. The celebrity gifting suite has become the best way for companies to get their products and services to celebrities.

The absolute best way to build the association between a product and a celebrity is through a red carpet photo. This photo will show a celebrity standing in front of a wall covered with a company’s logo. The logic behind the photo is simple “Celebrity + Logo = celebrity brand association”. A gifting suite should have each celebrity taking a picture with a company’s logo and in return the celebrity is gifted quality products and services.

Gifting suites started as a private room where celebrities were given products from companies in hopes they would be photographed or filmed at a later date. This strategy was full of hope but rarely proved successful. Some gifting suites started producing large media walls with dozens of logos. The celebrities would come and stand in front of the press walls and take pictures. This strategy worked very well, but was only useful to the one or two company logos captured in the photo. The dozens of other logos on the press wall would not be seen and therefore would not have any benefit.

Gift suites once to have dozens of celebrities. The current average at the Oscars, Emmy’s and other award shows was two celebrities. There are many reasons for this decline. Gifting suite organizers have been allowing access to hundreds of non-celebrities. The gifting suites have become more like gifting parties and companies are realizing little or no marketing value for giving away hundreds of products to people who cannot help build celebrity brand association. Because companies do not like to waste product they tend to give away less valuable merchandise. With less valuable merchandise and a party-like atmosphere the real celebrities have less incentive to attend. This cycle has led the industry downward.

Currently there are about a dozen companies in Hollywood that produce major gifting suites. The goal of having a celebrity come and take a picture next to a company logo in exchange for a product is non-existent. The power of celebrity product placement and celebrity product association is as strong as ever, but the gifting industry is lost in a sea of parties and non-business activities.

When selecting a gifting company it is important for a company to realize its marketing goals “Get a celebrity picture next to the company logo”. Marketing is the reason for celebrity gifting. It is important to select the right gifting services as a part of a company’s marketing plan.

The major gifting suites of the year are; Golden Globes, Grammys, SAG Awards, Oscars and Emmys. There are dozens of other award shows and private gift lounges scattered across the calendar. The lounges are very different and should be evaluated to meet your company goals before spending the entry fee and supplying valuable product.