Virgil Winston: Marketing Guru

It’s January and you know what that means, it’s “Awards Show” season. You can hardly channel surf without landing smack dab in the middle of an acceptance speech. First up are the Golden Globes, where somebody is likely to get sloshed before their acceptance speech; then the Screen Actor’s Guild Awards where actors give awards to other actors; and the granddaddy of them all, The Oscars. If you live in Los Angeles, you run the constant risk of red carpet related traffic jams.

Awards Show season is one of the busiest times of year for me. Not only do I design promotional items for the gift bags the presenters receive, I am literally besieged with requests from celebrities looking for “gifts” to send out at voting time. Now I can’t name names, but I can tell you that I heard from a very reliable source that Meryl Streep sent out hundreds of Prada gift certificates to key members of the Hollywood Foreign Press. Rumor has it that Kate Winslet sent out 1000 custom coffee mugs, featuring pictures of her own children that said “Kate deserves an Oscar. Do it for her little children.” Talk about hitting them over the head, but sometimes that’s what it takes to get your message across. I’m not saying Leo should send diamonds to the voters but some nice cubic zirconias might be the promotional item that puts him over the top.

All the celebrity back slapping and self congratulatory speeches that are an integral part of most awards shows can be a bit much at times but, you have to admit, receiving an award for a job well done feels pretty darn good. Everyone likes to be recognized for excellence in the workplace. You can give your employees the red carpet treatment with a Reflections Award that beautifully recognizes their hard work. Your event doesn’t have to be televised to make an impact; you just need to give out and award with a unique, eye-catching design and optically perfect crystal to show your appreciation for a job well done.

Clint Eastwood once said, “There’s a lot of great movies that have won the Academy Award, and a lot of great movies that haven’t. You just do the best you can.” He also said, “Go ahead, make my day,” so I tend to think he makes a lot of sense. I’m off to the cleaners to pick up my tux. Turns out Leo liked my idea about the cubic zirconias and those “in the know” say he’s a lock, so he invited me to sit at his table during the Golden Globes. Look for me; I’ll be the one wearing a “Marketing Guru to the Stars” button on my left lapel.