Influencer Marketing at GBK’s Gifting Suite Honoring Oscar Nominees: Interview with the Businesses


Face-to-face connections with celebrities are hard to attain in real life, and one company has an impressive skill for throwing enjoyable yet commercially fruitful events to bring talented people together. GBK offers lavish networking events for businesses to connect with celebrities and media on a personal level, and build partnerships.

Tapping into influencer marketing is a major marketing trend for 2017, that is sure to stay, and many brands have achieved greater success by attending celebrity gift lounges. Businesses jumped at the chance to showcase their products to top talent this past weekend. GBK hosted another star-studded soiree, a celebrity gifting event honoring Oscar nominees and presenters. The event took place at a $25Million Estate in Beverly Hills, CA. Notable guests included Viola Davis, Miles Teller, Randy Jackson, and Haley Lu Richardson.

Home Business Magazine spoke with the brand representatives about the story behind the brands, the inspiration behind companies, thoughts on celebrity gift lounges, and their future marketing strategies.

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Ike’s Place

HBM: How was it at this GBK event today? Has influencer marketing benefited your company?

Ike: “I had a lot of fun. There’s a lot of great gifts, and great food of course. For me, these events have helped because the attendees become customers. When they come in, because I’m in the restaurant business, people take photos of the celebrities at my business. It’s like social proof, when they’re there at the restaurant. Because the food is good, I have a product where people keep coming back and back again. It’s been really helpful for me. I also had a few people at these events come back and want to fund me or open up their own restaurants. I’ve met a couple partners specifically from events like this.”

HBM: What do you like most about GBK and their celebrity gift lounges?

Ike: “I really like the people that work here. They offer a great service, and great people. They’re really fun to be around. They put on a good party too. The celebrities are fun too that show up here. It’s different than the other ones I go to, where these ones are more personable and want to interact. They spend time with the tables.”

HBM: Have you had good promotion from the celebrities?

Ike: “Oh yeah. We have something that’s happening soon, and that person has seven million followers. They’re tweeting out their sandwiches tomorrow. I’m sure that’s going to be helpful.”

HBM: What are your future marketing strategies?

Ike: “More of the same like this. Connecting with influencers and showing that we have social proof. The food is good, so we’re trying to get it out more and more in the public.”

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Burke Williams Spa

HBM: How do feel about GBK’s events?

Burke Williams Spa: “This is my first time! I’m honored to be here. It’s been a lot of fun. We’ve had a really warm reception. Glad to hear that a lot of people are familiar with our facilities, and really open and welcome to hearing about what we have to offer. We have a Hollywood location, which is offering new services including our blow dry bar, our steam pedicures, and garden room services. It’s been really fun.”

HBM: What do you think is most beneficial about going to celebrity gift lounges?

Burke Williams Spa: “I think spreading what we have to offer is most beneficial. No matter who you are, you can benefit from taking care of yourself and wellness, especially living in California, in Los Angeles. We all are really fast-paced, and we’re always on the go. Sometimes we forget to let ourselves center, and we offer that to all of our guests.”

HBM: What are you gifting celebrities today?

Burke Williams Spa: “We have a variety of our H2V products, which is the signature line we use in all of our facials and skincare. It’s also included in all of our spa amenities. Our guests can come in and shampoo, condition their hair, and use body wash. All of our facial products are used in our facilities as well. Whether you’re getting a massage or any other service, you can experience them.”

(Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images for GBK Productions)
(Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images for GBK Productions)

Hallmark Signature

HBM: What is Hallmark Signature?

Hallmark Signature: “Hallmark Signature is Hallmark’s premium greeting card collection. As you can see, the cards have lots of extra dimension and embellishments to them. The copy on it is still very simple and subtle, so you can say a lot with a little. We have cards here for a birthday, some congratulatory cards, which is kind of fun, if you think about it from the nominee perspective.”

HBM: Have you done other celebrity gift lounges like GBK’s in the past?

Hallmark Signature: “We have not. This is our first one. It’s wonderful! It’s been so fun to get our product in front of such a broad range of people. We’ve had everybody from Viola Davis to Anthony Anderson. The card Viola chose was The One and Only. She loved The One and Only and also our little ballerina card. It’s been so fun to see everyone’s reactions to our product! We’ve had a lot of people come by!”

HBM: How did you find out about GBK?

Hallmark Signature: “We’ve worked with them before. We’re really excited about the opportunity to sample our product and with the Oscars being such an elaborate event, and kind of the biggest of the season, we feel like Signature is our best foot forward too, so perfect for that. It’s a celebratory event. Our brand is grounded in style. It’s really about helping people express and share their personal style. This place, with all the style, seemed like a great venue to really debut the brand in front of a big audience.”

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Meza Dental

HBM: What is Meza Dental?

Meza Dental: “Meza is a cosmetic dentistry company. We’re based in San José, Costa Rica. The reason we’re here is because there are a lot of patients from the United States and Canada travelling for vacation to Costa Rica and they’re also getting dental work done. We’re a group of cosmetic dentists trained here in the United States, but born and raised in Costa Rica. This is called “medical tourism”. It’s an industry that’s been going on for about fifteen years. Nowadays, Meza Dental is expanding. It’s moving to Colombia. We’re offering the beauty of Costa Rica, of nature. Now we want to offer the glamour of a city like Bogota, where there’s a lot of fashion and nightlife, and things like that. We also would like to offer the possibility of being in Dubai. The Dubai location is going to be open hopefully in 2018. It’s a major hub for the Arab and Asian immigrants, so there’s a lot of people travelling into Dubai. Nowadays, they have a Dubai healthcare city. That’s where we want to be located at. We’re getting more involved in the celebrity marketing industry as well.”

HBM: How has GBK helped you with celebrity marketing and making influencer connections?

Meza Dental: “Really good. It has given us a lot of exposure and networking. We’re now on the way to new big plans in the near future. We will hopefully come back for future gifting suites. Our publicist is the one moving us around but we’ll see. Viola Davis was here this morning, which was great.”

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HBM: Please tell us about your product.

Earthwater: “This is alkaline water. It has a PH of 9. It has 77 trace minerals in it and that’s what gives it its brown color. We take minerals from deep inside the earth and infuse it into the water. There’s absolutely nothing else added besides just the minerals that are really good for you. There’s no added sugar, no flavor, or anything like that. It’s vegan and gluten-free. It has no calories.”

HBM: How was the company founded?

Earthwater: “It was founded by CJ Comu who is actually in Dallas, Texas, and that’s where our little secret spot is where we get everything from. CJ actually just flew back out today and so I’m their spokesmodel for Los Angeles and I’ve been doing a lot of the events for them here. The company is several years old. We did the gift suites last year, and we also did the Superbowl. It’s been around. People love it!”

HBM: How has GBK helped you with influencer marketing and connecting you with celebrities and media?

Earthwater: “So much! Like I said—we did the gift suites last year as well. We’ve had a really good rapport with everybody. It’s been really great.”

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Pure Seduction

HBM: Tell us about Pure Seduction.

Pure Seduction: “It’s a premium men underwear store. We are located in New York and we have an online store. Everything comes from Berlin, is designed and made over there. We have very different materials and fabrics. We have all different styles from very conservative to very kinky styles.”

HBM: How was the company founded?

Pure Seduction: “I opened the company because I had a friend who moved here from Russia. I asked him what he’s missing that Americans don’t have. He said, “Americans don’t have good underwear.” So, I started to search and bought a couple brands and brought them here. It was initially a multi-brand store. How we are launching our own line.”

HBM: How do you feel about celebrity gifting events?

Pure Seduction: “It’s our first event. Everybody’s different. People are different. I like to see how people react to our brand. It’s always fun.”

HBM: What are you future plans?

Pure Seduction: “We’re opening a store in West Hollywood. We are launching our own brand. It’s exciting!”

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Il Palato Italiano

HBM: What is Il Palato Italiano?

Il Palato Italiano: “We are a club for food lovers and we select the most exclusive Italian products we can find. We try to bring them to the United States with a new concept which is to fly a hope brigade from Europe and come and cook at your doorstep.”

HBM: How has influencer marketing and attending gift lounges benefited your business?

Il Palato Italiano: “This is the second event we are doing in the United States. On Monday evening, we were at a top celebrity’s home for his housewarming. We had a dinner for eighteen people. All these connections came from attending the GBK gift lounge they hosted for the Emmys. The gift we’re giving is a spaghetti kit for six people that you can do at home with our selection of products. It’s a tiny, seasonal selection, so when it’s over, it’s over. You have to book it for next year. For some people we’ve got an exclusive dinner, which is a dinner for ten people. You can do it whenever you want, and have the chef come. They can build their own menus and have the tailor-made experience.”

HBM: What do you like most about GBK?

Il Palato Italiano: “They take care of every detail. They are punctual, and helpful for us in getting our message through. We’re very happy about the company.”



GBK, formerly GBK Productions, is a luxury lifestyle gifting and special events company, specializing in entertainment marketing integration. Formed in 2000 by Gavin Keilly, the company’s Founder and CEO, GBK consists of five divisions: GBK Celebrity Gifting, GBK Special Events, GBK Weddings, GBK Charitable Consulting and GBK Marketing/Public Relations.  Widely known in the entertainment industry for bringing that little extra something into the Gifting Lounge environment, GBK offers its clients a full range of marketing services.  For more information on Gavin B. Keilly (CEO) or GBK, please go to


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