Fiat's Winsome Press Kit, Espresso Cup with USB Drive MediaEnlarge Photo
Major auto shows stage media events. It's a verity. At these "pressers," carmaker barkers, concept cars, new production models, and human eye candy vie for photographer and journalist attention.
Nonetheless, it's often the other attractions that amuse the media masses--tchotchke. These trinkets are inducements to endure the spectacle of smoke, glass and mirror-like paint jobs.
Media Alert: Detroit Auto Show BaublesEnlarge Photo
At this year's Detroit show, Tesla rolled out Hot Wheels. BYD had a bright idea: LED light bulbs. These days, glossy brochures are rare, yet find them in several languages. If you're particularly savvy you can score video footage on DVD or Sony's broadcast BetaCam tape format.
All the rage: USB-friendly press kits on sticks. These baubles are covered in leather sheaths, shaped like cars or a brand's logo. One looked like an electric vehicle's quick-charge station.
The standout kit: Fiat's. To herald the ready-for-America 2012 Cinquecento, Fiat served the basilica of boxes. Dressed in clean graphics, framed like a dealership: Fiat 500's exterior colors: Rosso Brillante and Mocha Latte. Inside each cardboard cube, underneath a square info pack: a single-shot espresso cup sporting Fiat's logo. In that vessel: festive confetti and a mini-USB memory device.
Good Things in Small PackagesEnlarge Photo
It's a treat for the eyes; an ideal showcase your barista-made espresso's crema. Sergio Marchionne autograph mine.
Winner's CupEnlarge Photo
Frank admission: my first car was a Fiat 850 sport coupe. This pint-size sport model's color: Mocha (rust), dark Azzurro (blue) with color-coordinated exhaust plume. A few years later, one of my first TV commercial videographer stints: shooting a Bianco (white) Fiat Strada.