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As Award Shows Go Virtual, So Do The Gifting Suites

by Ace Damon

All popular culture became turbulent in 2020 due to the relentless coronavirus pandemic. Some things are impervious to change, however, and among them is the gift suite.

This one sacred chamber, in which a named celebrity comes in empty-handed and emerges with a bag of high-priced gifts from brands eager for an endorsement photo (or perhaps just the promise of good word of mouth), requires more than an infectious disease for Go slow. As detailed in The Hollywood Reporter, the traditional exchange of influence for commercial products will enter the virtual space as the quarantine continues and has already had a successful test.

At the 47th Annual Daytime Emmy, which took place at the end of June, P&L Media created a gift room in cyberspace. As the brands were unable to interact directly with the stars, they hired well-known presenters on the air, including Jennifer Lahmers from Extra, Keltie Night and Nischelle Turner from Entertainment Tonight, Victoria Recaño from Inside Edition and Jason Kennedy, Justin Sylvester and Nina Parker from E! News. They provided comments on the available products that the lucky celebrities were able to view in private. The guests were then able to make a wish list and build a care package.

It is unclear who actually took advantage of the offer, but THR reports that invitations were given to many of the big names on television during the day. Gifts included trips to Barbados, handmade honey, a cordless hairdryer and a “best vlogging set”.

This time-honored tradition of awards gift suites came to a more general awareness thanks to The Sopranos, when Michael Imperioli’s Christopher Moltisanti, in one of his most unpleasant moments, assaulted Lauren Bacall, playing herself on the way limo ride.

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