Consumer brands are looking to get their products into the hands of the super-rich anyway they can — and helicopter flights and fashion boutiques are among the exclusive venues they’re choosing for their generous handoffs of loot.
Wireless carrier T-Mobile, real estate broker Corcoran and the Vince fashion label are among the brands that have paid Blade, a New York-based helicopter service, to leave their swag bags waiting on passengers’ seats.
Casa Dragones — a tequila brand owned by media mogul Bob Pittman that can cost $90 a shot at swanky bars — is giving Coachella music fans a shot of the clear stuff while they wait for their Blade flights to land them in the California desert this weekend.
The impromptu giveaways in exotic locales are proof that brands are going to fresh lengths to target the ultra-affluent, says Brett Anderson, editor-in-chief of the Robb Report.
“These individuals are becoming in many respects more challenging to engage than ever,” according to Anderson.
He adds that brands don’t just want to give away free stuff — they want to create long-term client relationships.
The Balvenie, a Scottish distillery of single-malts, has been targeting deep-pocketed clotheshorses who get their $3,500 suits at J. Mueser, a bespoke tailor in the West Village. A standard bottle of Balvenie costs around $60. But the rare, 50-year-old bottles — from which you might get a swig at a J. Mueser tasting event — cost $38,000.
“They make beautiful clothing by hand,” Lorne Cousin, the Balvenie National Ambassador, says of J. Mueser, likening the pricey duds to Balvenie’s hand-made scotch.
Cousin admitted that it was impossible to know if such events increased sales.
“We tend to partner with many brands at a local level — luxury cars, watches and cigars,” Cousins said. “When they do an event, there’s a win for everyone.”
Blade, backed by billionaire Barry Diller and Discovery boss David Zaslav and run by former Warner Music executive Rob Wiesenthal, confirms that it’s getting paid for collecting and distributing goodies to its clientele.
Author Holly Peterson, whose latest book, “It Happens in the Hamptons,” chronicles some of the friction between locals and jet-setters, bristles at the growing plethora of freebies for the well-heeled.
“The Hamptons is a microcosm of the enormous disparity that’s going on that’s fueling the anger in this country.” Peterson told The Post.
“I have seen rich people grabbing free bags after a benefit like its Best Buy on Black Friday,” she said. “They’re tripping over their gowns for a free wallet or a tote bag. The one thing that always amazes me is the ‘rich-person discount.’ ”