The Oscars® and the Value of Name Recognition

February 25, 2016 - By: Sarah Hovis

 Young Juliet once innocently asked her beloved Romeo, ‘What’s in a name?’ Well, if you’re the Academy Awards
® (aka the Oscars
®), the answer is a lot. A product mentioned in the same sentence as either name garners instant validation and with it, a chance to potentially see an increase in your profits. But when a company crosses the line, don’t expect the Academy to quietly sit by. As with any large awards show, one of the perks the nominees, presenters, and performers receive are gift bags. And this is where the brouhaha comes in. According to
Variety, the
Academy discontinued official gift bags years ago and other companies took over. For the 88th Academy Awards, Los Angeles-based marketing firm
Distinctive Assets has put together a high-end gift bag
valued at over $200,000 and promoted it using the slogan “Everyone Wins At The Oscars! Nominee Gift Bags.” This has prompted the Academy to
file a lawsuit in California federal court against Lash Fary (Distinctive Assets) for trademark infringement and
confusing consumers into thinking there is a connection between the event and the bags. A big complaint is the extensive media coverage that’s been given to some of the more interesting
items in the bag like, a $1,900 Vampire Breast Lift and a $250 marijuana vaporizer. Another controversial item is the $55,000 VIP all-inclusive trip to Israel, which Artists for Palestine UK is asking those receiving the bags to
give to a Palestinian refugee. In a year where the Academy is already dealing with #OscarsSoWhite, it will be interesting to see how the #OscarGiftBag drama plays out. The
2016 Oscars hosted by Chris Rock will air live on Sunday, February 28 at 7 p.m. (ET) on ABC. Tell us in the comments if you think the Academy is on point or overreacting. Photo via:
NY Daily News