At Emmy time, the gift suites hit Hollywood

Sat Sep 17, 2011 12:23pm EDT
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By Zorianna Kit

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Adults can embrace their inner child with T-shirts by Lotty Dotty featuring the image of a paper doll who comes with her own detachable Velcro clothing to mix and match, changing the doll's outfit to fit the wearer's own personal fashion.

The offbeat shirts are just one of the many items being handed to celebrities at gifting suites in Los Angeles this week in the lead-up to Sunday's Emmy Awards, U.S. television's top honors that bring out A-list Hollywood TV stars.

Gifting lounges have become important marketing tools for companies, and even in the recent gloomy economic climate, the suites open up as a way for established companies and upstarts to gain exposure for new products or reintroductions. In recent years, many have begun to give some proceeds to charities.

By giving their products to celebrities as a "gift," marketers hope consumers will love it enough to use it, get photographed with it, or talk it up on Facebook or Twitter.

While one can never guarantee who on Hollywood's celebrity list will show up, vendors travel from far away to hawk their wares in hopes of striking gold by getting their brand name in front of, and onto, Hollywood stars.

Lotty Dotty's Paris-based co-founder Shevanne Helmer flew in from France to be a part of the Secret Room Events gifting suite on Thursday. With Lotty Dotty shirts selling all over Europe, Japan and Dubai, Helmer decided it was time to try the U.S. market.

"Everyone needs something to make them smile, and the shirts just crack everyone up," Helmer told Reuters. "These shirts let you express yourself and be an individual. And you'll never get tired of it because you can change the look to be as chic or as casual as you want."