Our media driven culture values a peek behind the curtain of the lives of celebrity, whether it be behind the scenes at an award show or a look at their daily life on Instagram. Leveraging a celebrity’s interest in your product or service can help drive interest and sales, help you secure distribution with a desired retail partner, and provide earned media to add awareness to your brand. With a variety of services available, we can help brands create celebrity interactions in person at events or virtually via influencer mailers at a fraction of the cost of full scale advertising campaigns and endorsements. We can work with your team to create PR worthy activations and creative unboxings to help ignite your brand in the public eye.
Karen Wood worked as a talent coordinator on award shows from the Emmys to MTV, events and concerts, when she devised a fun and engaging way to occupy talent behind the scenes during downtime in between rehearsals, commercial breaks, and throughout the events backstage. Asking her product representative friends if they wished to join her backstage to interact with talent directly, a lightbulb went off, and she realized not only did this concept solve a problem of how to upgrade a basic greenroom into something more exciting (and ensure celebrities would arrive to rehearsals on time), but it also solved brand needs to generate outreach to celebrities and get their products into the hands of influential people in a tangible and personal way. Her first official client to participate in The Retreat was an eyewear rep who worked with luxury brands like Fendi, Ferragamo, Michael Kors, Karl Lagerfeld and Calvin Klein. She operated her first suite in the early 90s, and it was informally known amongst talent and event staff as “Karen’s Room,” eventually becoming Backstage Creations. With the addition of photographers to capture talent engagement with brands, and media attendance to ensure coverage, The Retreat became a part of pop culture.
The retreat is our term for the backstage gifting suite. It incorporates elements of a gift bag and a green room to present a comfortable area with luxury design for people to watch the event from behind the scenes, as well as designated areas for brands to activate, present their products, and interact with a select guest list. Celebrities are treated to a private “shopping” experience in a custom environment—an opportunity for them to learn about new products and services and experience brands first hand. See some examples of the look of our suites here.
We always work officially with event producers to operate an on-site gifting suite that is an approved part of the production and located on premises at an award show, gala or celebrity event. Brands are vetted and approved by the event producers’ committees and contractually allowed via our agreements with producers of the show to formally associate their brand with the event via The Retreat. Guest lists are made up of presenters, performers, winners, and attendees of each event, ensuring that the list of invitees is exclusive, and media coverage is top notch, drawing from nationally recognized entertainment publications and programs which cover major award shows. Our contracts are exclusive, meaning we are the only permitted entity producing gifting for that event.
We believe our history and track record of operating within the award show system as a trusted partner set us apart from “ambush marketers” who attempt to use large cultural events for their own unauthorized publicity and profit. Our clients are pleased to know we take measures to ensure their event associations are publicized in a legally vetted and authorized way, and that we work to place them directly behind the scenes at the event with high profile talent and influencers.
Participation in The Retreat means you will be backstage personally to activate your brand, with exclusive access behind the scenes at the event, event photography, media and talent introductions and more. Participation in the gift bag does not come with backstage access, but allows a lower cost solution to brands looking to participate in the excitement of a large scale event with A-List celebrities but at a lower level than full on site activations.
Images can be used for publicity purposes as well as your website and social media with agreed upon captioning, however it is prohibited to use these images in advertising unless you procure a formal endorsement deal via talent representatives. We work with wire services like Getty/Wireimage for photography at our events and those images are licensed to each brand. We do not permit vendors or staff to use personal cameras or cell phones in order to maintain an orderly environment with a trusted professional taking photos that are made available to media worldwide. You can see samples of our celebrity photography in our gallery here.
Our guest lists are curated in conjunction with the talent bookers for each of our award shows/events, generally comprising a list of presenters, performers, winners and some attendees.
If you are looking for guaranteed social media support from talent, then you seek sponsored posts. We can help you find the right talent for your budget and demographic, and help you coordinate your desired placement. This service differs from the our gift bags and Retreat offerings. If you are looking for a program that casts a wider net, reaching a larger group of talent but with organic interactions, we have also had success helping companies build influencer programs via our outreach and can offer that as well. We pride ourselves at having opportunities available that can fit any budget, building around your brand’s individual needs, and can consult on which options are best for your specific goals. Reach out to us here for more information and we can help you determine what type of program is best for you.