Brandable: Grammy Awards Gift Bag Emphasizes Diversity, Inclusion
Image by Clay Banks / Unsplash.com
Every year, the Grammy Awards, hosted by The Recording Academy, provide musical artists, fans and producers the opportunity to collectively recognize and celebrate top songs, albums, and music films and videos from the previous year. As to be expected, this year’s 63rd annual ceremony proved slightly different, incorporating virtual components in line with the coronavirus pandemic—but it also featured a slew of new, must-have products in its sought-after gift bags, which were designed around diversity and inclusion.
The Recording Academy asked for this year’s bags to be filled with products from “companies owned and operated by individuals across race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, age, persons with disabilities and beyond.” Given to all award nominees, the gift bag certainly did not disappoint, with an exclusive array of top-notch skincare, haircare and self-care products, tasty treats and interactive activities for families. The value of the 2021 gift bag was not initially disclosed, which is also atypical compared to prior years, although InStyle later reported the bag is worth more than $5,000. Some of this year’s items are available on Amazon, and all the products have a story to share or a cause they help support. One of the products featured, for example, is the Trevor Noah Foundation X Karabo Poppy t-shirt by Bonfire, of which 100-percent of proceeds go to the Johannesburg, South Africa-based Trevor Noah Foundation, which works to provide local students with a high-quality education. Other products, Brish Bish Daily Swish and Brish Bish Weekly Wash, are skincare items featured from Bishology, a women-owned business that donates a percentage of sales to supporting women and LGBTQIA+ organizations, and the British M Annato Hair Oil from British M represents a Korean woman-owned brand that is gender neutral.
The Grammy’s inclusive gift bags have been described as a sharp contrast to the Golden Globes, which wasn’t only described by Vanity Fair as “painfully awkward,” but which coincided with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA)—a nonprofit of about 90 international members consisting of journalists and photographers who report on the entertainment industry and vote on the Golden Globes Awards—facing several allegations, including the notion that none of its members are Black, and a lack of diversity among Golden Globe nominees. Co-hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler tried to make light of the situation, but the attempt was weakly received due to the reality of the situation. The Grammy’s showed an effort not only to highlight inclusivity through its gift bags, but also through its line-up: Mickey Guyton, for instance, was the first-ever solo Black female country singer to perform at the show. However, according to USA Today, the annual ceremony still has room for improvement to ensure that all people of color are represented in all categories.
Danielle Renda is associate editor of PPB.