No Oscar? How About a Gift Bag?

Fary says the ultimate coup is when a celebrity is photographed wearing one of your products or if it inspires them in other ways. He says one gift bag that included a George Foreman grill got into the hands of sitcom King of Queens star Kevin James, who liked the grill so much he had it written into a few episodes of the show.

"You never really know where things turn up, that's kind of icing on the cake," Fary says.

Celebrities Want Them, Too

Known for its comfortable shoes and sandals, Birkenstock provided a $300 gift certificate for the official Oscar gift bag for the second year in a row. The company, which has always focused on grass-roots efforts to get publicity rather than splashy ad campaigns, says being included is a great way of getting influential people to wear its shoes.

"It's more of just building the brand than pushing the product," says Birkenstock spokeswoman Jenny Mirmelstein, who says the company counts actresses like Oscar winners Marcia Gay Harden and Jodie Foster as fans.

But it's not just companies and marketers who lick their lips in anticipation of a gift bag. For all their wealth, celebrities also look forward to their free booty.

Queen Latifah, who was nominated for best supporting actress for her role in Chicago, has been quoted saying what she really wanted from the evening was a good bag.

"I'm looking forward to that basket. I can't wait to see what's in it," she was quoted as saying on celebrity news Web site imdb.com. "I don't care how much money you have, free stuff is always a good thing."

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