The 4 Most Outrageous Corporate Gifts in Recent History

Corporate gift-giving has been a longstanding tradition for building and strengthening business relationships.

Offering a thoughtful gift to a client, business partner, or colleague goes a long way in showing your appreciation and cultivating lasting connections.

However, in recent years, there’s been a growing trend towards over-the-top and extravagant corporate gifts that push the boundaries of what is considered appropriate.

When it comes to business gifts, it’s not just the thought that counts—the price tag matters too.

A ridiculously expensive gift has the potential to negatively affect your business relationship and the public’s perception of both parties.

"The excellence of a gift lies in its appropriateness rather than in its value." — Charles Dudley Warner

Planning for corporate gift boxes is exciting. As you do so, however, it’s essential to keep in mind:

  • The ethical implications of the most over-the-top corporate gifts of all time
  • Alternatives to extreme gift-giving, including more personalized, practical, and thoughtful options
  • Some custom corporate gift ideas to help you choose meaningful gift boxes
  • Why you should consider Giften Market's high-end gift boxes as a luxurious and thoughtful option for corporate clients

Let's take a closer look at the world of extravagant business gifts and unique, yet ethical, corporate gift alternatives you can adopt.

The Top 4 Most Outrageous Corporate Gifts in Recent History

4 Most Outrageous Corporate Gifts in Recent History

As far as corporate gift-giving goes, some companies spare no expense. From luxury cars to diamond-encrusted watches, no gift is too grand. 

Here are the top four most opulent corporate gifts of all time, and the impact they had on the business relationships in question:

1 - Luxury Cars for Movie Stars

Bollywood icon Shah Rukh Khan is no stranger to handing out lavish gifts. In 2011, after the release of the Indian Hindi-language superhero movie Ra.One, Khan gifted several members of the crew a BMW 7 vehicle, each valued at $10 million.

The extravagant gifts were an expression of appreciation toward the crew for making the film a global success. However, this gesture got tongues wagging, especially given the mixed reviews the movie received from film critics.

2 - Famous Artwork Changes Hands

Works by renowned artists usually fetch hefty prices. Most times, they end up in the hands of private collectors. Some people, however, see them as viable corporate gifts.

Ken Griffin, a billionaire hedge fund manager, bought a painting by artist Jean-Michel Basquiat in 2017 for $110 million.

In 2020, the mogul handed over the piece titled Boy and Dog in Johnnnypump to the Art Institute museum in Chicago where it was displayed in the Modern Wing.

3 - Songstress Gets a Ferrari

Songstress Gets Sleek Red Ferrari Gift

When songbird Katrina Kaif did her number “Chikni Chameli” in Karan Johar’s film Agneepath, she didn’t charge for her service.

However, Johar was blown away by the quality of her work and decided to splash $20 million on a sleek red Ferrari as a gift to the songstress.

4 - Cubist Artwork Donation

In 2003, cosmetics billionaire Leonard Lauder donated his collection of 78 Cubist paintings, drawings, and sculptures worth $1.1 billion to the New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The masterpieces contained works by renowned artists Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Juan Gris, and Fernand Legér. At the time, this stood as the largest art donation in history.

Lauder extended his generosity further by not placing any restrictions on the artwork so it could be displayed as curators saw fit.

These extravagant gifts may seem harmless, but they spark many questions in the minds of the general public about the true motives of the givers.

Next time you’re organizing premium corporate gifts for your business associates, clients, or financiers, keep in mind that opulence can have a negative bearing on your business relationships and company image.

Key Takeaway: Thoughtful and meaningful gifts foster a sense of appreciation and strengthen bonds. By focusing on sincere gestures, you can nurture goodwill and form long-term connections.

The Ethics of Corporate Gift-Giving: Balancing Generosity With Responsibility

Giften Market gift box

Corporate gift-giving can be a tricky business, especially when it comes to determining the correct level of generosity.

A gift that your recipient considers basic might not be memorable to them, but an over-the-top gift could raise some questions about whether you’re trying to squeeze favors out of them.

While a well-timed and thoughtful gift is useful for building business relationships and showing appreciation, it's important to be mindful of the ethical considerations that arise when gifts become too extravagant. 

In this section, we'll explore some of the ethical challenges of corporate gift-giving and offer some tips on how to navigate this complex terrain.

The Risks of Extravagant Gifts

When you give someone an extremely expensive gift, there's a risk that it might create a sense of obligation. In some cases, this could even be seen as an attempt to bribe or influence decision-makers.

The potential such gifts have to damage trust and undermine the integrity of your business relationships is huge.

Balancing Generosity With Responsibility

It's important to find the balance between generosity and responsibility when it comes to luxury corporate gifts.

This means considering factors such as the size and type of gift, the context in which you give it, and the relationship between you and the recipient.

The Impact on Reputation and Public Image

Extreme gift-giving can have an impact on the reputation and public image of both the giver and the receiver. In some cases, it may be perceived as a sign of excess, which can damage the credibility of both parties.

For instance, if you’re giving a gift to someone in an organization that supports the responsible use of resources and living lightly on the earth, presenting them with a gigantic mansion in a swanky neighborhood will be out of touch.

It’s completely misaligned with their company’s values, and the public is likely to cast aspersions on that company’s operations—as well as yours.

Best Practices for Ethical Gift-Giving

To ensure that your corporate gift-giving is both thoughtful and ethical, it's important to follow best practices, including:

  • Being transparent about the gift-giving process
  • Avoiding gifts that could be perceived as inappropriate or excessive
  • Prioritizing gifts that are thoughtful and aligned with the values of the giftee’s business

By keeping in mind the ethical considerations of corporate gift-giving, you’ll be confident that your gifts are received with appreciation and respect, and be ensured that they’ll help build strong, lasting business relationships.

The following table outlines some of our amazing collections of creative corporate gifts to choose from:

Gift Box Name Description Themes Customization
Ultimate Spa Day Gift Box Pampering spa essentials including a candle, soap, soaking salts, and a spa headband Spa, relaxation Yes, with a personalized message card
Brunch Gift Basket Delicious brunch essentials like pancake mix, maple syrup, and coffee Food, brunch Yes, with a personalized message card
Relax Gift Box Perfect for self-care time with a bath bomb, chocolate bar, soaps, and a calming face mask Relaxation, self-care Yes, with a personalized message card
The Uplift Gift Box A combination of uplifting items like a lip balm, therapy dough, scented candle, and bath bombs Motivation, inspiration Yes, with a personalized message card
Men's R&R Gift Basket A bundle of self-care items for men including a body lotion, body wash, and shower sponge Men's grooming, relaxation Yes, with a personalized message card
Pet Lover Gift Box A fun gift for pet owners including pet toys, treats and treat dispensers Pets, animal lovers Yes, with a personalized message card
Happy Housewarming Basket Congratulate new homeowners with a beautiful basket including a candle, tea towels, and coasters Home, congratulatory Yes, with a personalized message card

With our easy online ordering system and worldwide shipping options, sending the perfect corporate gift baskets has never been easier.

"My client loved receiving the Giften delivery!" — Kim M.,Verified Buyer of the Self-Care Gift Box

Expert Insight: Increasingly, companies are opting for more sustainable and socially responsible gift choices, such as eco-friendly products, that emphasize ethical practices and eco-conscious gifting in the corporate world.

Alternatives to Extreme Gift-Giving: Thoughtful and Personalized Corporate Gifts From Giften Market

Giften Market Moscow Mule Gift Box

Corporate gift-giving doesn't have to break the bank. It’s possible to give thoughtful gifts to your business partners, investors, clients, employees, and others without being exorbitant.

Here are some alternatives to extravagant gifts that will still show your appreciation and build meaningful relationships:

  • Consider Ready-to-Ship Gift Boxes from Giften Market, which offer a range of options of creative corporate gifts. We’ve thoughtfully curated each of these gift boxes with high-quality, artisanal items that are sure to impress. 
  • Reflect on the recipient's interests, hobbies, or values when selecting a unique corporate gift. A personalized gift that shows you've taken the time to understand what matters to them can be more meaningful than a generic or expensive gift.

    At Giften Market, we have different categories to match varying interests. From art and crafts to barbecue, mindfulness, and more, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
  • Sometimes, the best corporate gifts aren’t things. Building authentic relationships through communication and shared experiences, instead of lavish presents, goes a long way in cementing great business relationships.

    For instance, hosting a party to celebrate how you’ve worked collaboratively towards a shared goal is a fantastic way to create memories.

At Giften Market, we take the stress out of gift-giving and offer a wide selection of customizable options to help you create top corporate gifts. 

Don't believe us? Listen to what past customers have to say:

The table below highlights some of our favorite customized gift boxes:

Royal Treatment Gift Box

Build-Your-Own Custom Gift Box

Perfect Pick Me Up Gift Box

Building Strong Business Relationships Through Thoughtful Gift-Giving

Giften Market Uplift Gift Box

As with all gifting, it’s the responsibility of the giver to act with discretion as far as corporate gift-giving is concerned. 

It might not be a big deal for you or your company to hand out extravagant gifts. However, remember that such shows of opulence can negatively impact your business relationships and reputation.

A more appropriate approach is to choose practical yet ethical gifts that reflect the recipient's interests and values.

At Giften Market, we understand the importance of ethical gift-giving in strengthening successful business relationships. 

Our Ready-to-Ship gift boxes offer a luxurious and customizable option for corporate clients with a range of unique gifts to choose from.

What’s more, you can build your own gift box, perfectly tailored to the giftee’s tastes.

Whatever route you take, our collection of affordable corporate gifts is sure to help you build lasting relationships with the recipient. 

Allow us to be your partner for unique professional gifts that show your appreciation and make a good impression without doing too much.


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