One celebrity image, one celebrity tweet, one celebrity moment, can completely make a brand’s sales suddenly skyrocket. Just ask J.Crew, which received more press for the surprise Beyonce appearance at its first New York Fashion Week runway show this morning than for the actual clothes.
That’s why, for 10 days each September, when the Toronto International Film Festival draws in a slew of serious movie lovers, movie-promoting bold-faced names, and a small army of brand ambassadors plotting to get their product into the right celeb’s hands.
Typically, celebs are given bags of goodies through the organization hosting the event in question, via stylists or "gifting suites" stocked with branded loot that celebs pick over at the Academy Awards (and just about every major entertainment awards show), but that's been proclaimed to be tacky.
Now TIFF-going celebs are getting the goods in their hotel rooms. Talk about room service!
One Toronto hotel, the Hazelton, which is hosting such celebs as Bono and Madonna (who irked fans and festival volunteers with her behavior) at TIFF, has gift bags with $7,000 worth of gear in there, the Toronto Star reports. Although, the bags for the aforementioned ultra-VIPs have another $3,000 worth of goodies to keep them satisfied.
Of course, everything isn’t just chucked into one bag together, like a mess of overpriced Halloween candy. The hotel “has customized its hotel-room drops according to the wishes of their corporate partners,” Maeve Cashin, the (aptly named) director of sales at Hazelton, told the Star.
“These are luxury brands. Some are not allowing publicity; it is between them and the celebrity,” Cashin told the Star. “Who gets what is based on the level of celebrity. Some gifts we can’t talk about because they are security risks. Some brands actually just want their things to go to the non-talent guests. It depends on their goals. Traditionally, media coverage was the goal. Now the goals are more subtle in some cases.”
While some brands go the freebie route, others dress to impress by offering their garments to celebs, either via stylists or directly. Hugo Boss has signed on to be the dresser and stylist for such actors as Cory Monteith, Emile Hirsch, Michael Shannon, and Ethan Hawke, among others, as well as the festival co-directors, Piers Handling and Cameron Bailey, the Star reports.
[Madonna photo via TIFF]