Now, no one ever said that being a journalist was glamorous. (Oh wait, I bet some people have said that.) But this year at the Chicago Auto Show, we journalists were treated pretty well by our manufacturer hosts. First, let's start with the big ones.
For any USB press kits there will be a Mega link containing them as formatted by the company. as 7-zip files because it compresses the most, I've found.
Chicago Auto Show in General
The CAS people themselves were quite nice.
Free Coat Check
That was a great touch. It was extremely cold out, and suit-and-ties and North Face jackets don't exactly mix.
(edited to obscure details)
Our badges were actually pretty cool, other than saying #CAS15 on them. But that's just me not liking our current fondness for "Hashtags."
It's a nice notepad. Says "Chicago Auto Show" on it. I honestly didn't use it during the show, but it is a nice gift. Dime for scale.
This was a very exciting thing. Official Chicago Auto Show 2015 Press Pin. It's a gorgeous pin. They have a new one every year. I saw a few people wearing ones from the 50s and 60s. I was honestly quite excited to be wearing the pin around.
JC Brooks and The Uptown Sound. Thought about going, but being at the show wipes you out more than you expect. Still, very nice gesture.
Oh man, we were pretty well-fed at the show. I will admit I have no pictures of the food, because, well, I generally don't take pictures of my food. A number of the manufacturers had alcohol, too.
Chevrolet provided some great eggs, potatoes, bacon, and cereal the morning of Day 1, as well as a great speech about the show!
The Economic Club of Chicago provided lunch that day. a fantastic salad with chicken. Had a good speech from the Executive VP of Nissan, although I ducked out a bit early to go to more product presentations.
Day 2, Chrysler fed us in the morning, I had a parfait. It was pretty good. There was a speech as well.
VW fed us well with sliders, quesadillas, vegetables and dip, and delicious desserts. The lines were long at the VW gathering, but it was the middle of Social Media day, so everyone and their dog was there. And they ran out of hummus for the vegetables right as I got to the front of the line.
And now, without Further Ado, Here's what the companies there had for us, their esteemed journalists! I've got them in "Alfa-betical" order, for your benefit.
We'll start with...
Seems weird to start with a bank, I know. But 5/3rds was there, and they had a wheel you could spin to win things! I won a bottle of "#notextred" nail polish, and they gave me a cookie.
The nail polish isn't exactly my thing. but the cookie was good!
(Not my hand)
Images of nail polish and hand by: Miss Mercedes. I gave my nail polish away.
They supposedly had a USB Press Kit. but I don't have any proof of that. Didn't manage to get one, they claimed to be out by about 2pm the first day. The 4C Spider was there, it was fantastic looking.
Buick had a very nice USB press kit. They used less than 100MB of a 4GB flash drive, though, to talk about the Avenir and Cascada. Their USB had a little latch on it to attach it to your bag or your keyring, and it came in its own little drawstring carrying pouch! What more could you want?
Cadillac had a really nice USB as well. Hell, theirs was heavy! probably around 10oz or so, which is pretty heavy for a USB! Had some magnets in it to flip the USB portion in and out. They used 252MB of their 4GB flash drive, with a folder dedicated to the 2016 CTS-V. and then the other folder on the drive left over from their LA Auto Show offerings.
Chevrolet's USB was pretty cool. it was in the shape of their corporate logo, with a small piece that flipped out as well to actually plug in. They used 2.45GB of their 4GB drive, which is pretty good. Chevrolet was only showing off a couple of trucks at the show, so they supplanted the information on the drive with stuff from the NAIAS and others. They apparently were giving away die casts of the latest Volt, but I didn't see them on either press day, and therefore didn't pick one up.
(Die Cast Car Photo Credit eBay)
GMC's USB was definitely cool and definitely tough. It's covered in diamond plate! Obviously, it's all full of trucks. I'm not that invested in GMC trucks, although they've certainly come a long way. Their USB had 1.37 GB full of a 7.5GB flash drive.
Hyundai had some very cool stuff at the show. They had a number of their SEMA cars there for people to gawk at. Couple of cool concepts like the Santa Cruz, and the plainest USB in existence. It's actually made of really thick metal on the outside, as if it were made for Hyundai's shipping container branch, rather than their car branch. The metal is actually very slightly too thick for USB slots, as you can see by the scuffs on the top there. Interestingly enough, it's not possible to change the name on the drive. it's "2015 Chicago" or nothing.
Now we get to what I think, gets the "Best Press Gift of the Show" award. Kia's USB was pretty nice. it's a karabiner as well, 500MB out of 7.5GB used. It's got its own little program on it to show off their press releases and photos. But where they really shined was their other gift. To celebrate the Trailster concept, they gave out a gorgeous acrylic scarf with their logo sewn into it. Perfect for the cold Chicago weather, and a great bit of advertising thought from their marketing department. I wear it often these days, as it is a comfy scarf and it's still pretty cold here in Wisconsin.
Maserati were truly going old-school. I have a small packet of information about their cars, along with numbers for the PR Specialist and Director of Communications. They also had a very nice brochure. (If you're wondering why there isn't a photo of the whole press release, it had the phone numbers on the top and I'm not sure those are public.)
Mazda had some great cars here this year, and a great press kit USB, too. It's a simple fold-out design with 1.93 GB full out of 7.5GB total space. I love the ND, so having both high-resolution pictures of the stock car and the MX-5 Cup version was really nice. Nothing hugely impressive about the design of the USB, but it works well. It also blocked my efforts to change its name from "2015 CHICAGO." Amusingly enough, it ended up being (M:) on my list of devices. (Also, the dot in the center lights up when in use!)
Mitsubishi had kind of a poor showing at the show. They had a new concept car, sure, but the name for it sounded like a printer. They used up 491MB of their 7.5GB. Their USB had a rubber cover over it, which was interesting, and said "Find Your Own Lane" on it. Presumably they're talking to the person in the Galant who is lingering in the left one.
Mopar Performance supposedly had a USB Press Kit as well, but had very few to give away. From what I had heard, they were happy to sell one as well, having them in little blister packs for people to buy. I didn't buy one.
(Photo Credit eBay)
Nissan had a great display, from their new race car to the Nismo GT-R to the new Nismo 370Z convertible. They had a wheel you could spin to try to win things. I won a glasses cleaner with a GT-R on it. It's nice to be sure, but I don't wear glasses so it doesn't do much for me. You could also win a Frisbee, or a pair of Nissan-branded sunglasses, and they had a great brochure about the new FWD race car they had developed. I did get to take a photo with Hiroshi Tamura though, head of Nismo, which was pretty cool.
(That's me on the right, realizing that just the top button of my 3-button jacket was done up.)
Ram had a very cool USB, fake leather and all with a magnet to hold it together. Only 469MB out of 7.5GB used. However ,they're the only ones who changed their icon on the computer for their brand. Theirs was also unable to be renamed. They also had a brochure in a fake leather pouch (which I managed to rip) But it's all very well put-together. Neither Chrysler, Dodge, nor Fiat had anything else to give out. Considering their USB contained a program with hidden files, I don't know how well this Mega-linked one will work.
Scion always seemed to be 'with it' with their giveaways at shows. They'd give away CDs, iPod covers, cool things like that. Pretty sure I have a nice Scion beanie from a show unknown years ago. At this show, you had to share an Instagram photo with a hashtag on it to get things from them. You got a decent keychain, and a very cheap-looking pair of headphones. Apparently you could also get a USB that looked like dog tags, but I didn't manage to get one. They were 1GB and supposedly empty.
Scion USB Images by: Miss Mercedes.
Subaru had quite a nice flash drive they gave out. It's a USB in business card format. press down on one side and the USB pops out. they used 1.28GB of their possible 1.85GB, which gives them the smallest USB here, but I actually quite like carrying theirs around. It replaced my BMW 2012 NAIAS card USB in my wallet.
Finally, we get to Volkswagen. No USB here, but they did feed us very well on Social Media day, so that's forgiven. They also had a very nice travel mug you could get for tweeting at them, Although I haven't used my Twitter in years they were very nice and gave me one anyway. They also gave away a nice poster of the RWB Beetle. Tanner Foust was there as well! I'm embarrassed to admit he's taller than I am. I have a photo of that last bit, but I wore a ridiculous shirt on Social Media day and don't think it needs to be seen.
And that's that! Anything else you'd like to know, I'm happy to answer questions. This really was a great show this year.