Tiny USB Flash Drive In Entertainment Weekly

CBS and Cadillac are running a fancy-schmancy new ad campaign in the September 21st issue of “Entertainment Weekly” (the one with Britney on the cover) that includes a free “world’s smallest” 128MB flash drive. It doesn’t appear to be in the issues for sale on stands, so if you know anyone who subscribes, ask them for their copy.

If you’re a subscriber, don’t overlook the easy-to-miss 2-page spread, which has a tiny white plastic card attached to the page. At only 128MB drive, it’s not going to win any capacity awards, but you can erase it and then have a free flash drive small enough to mail in a standard envelope if you like. Or swallow. Or insert into a custom case that you build yourself from hot glue and glitter.

In the past, we’ve found from talking to people in other parts of the country that these multimedia campaigns don’t always cover an entire subscription base—so if it doesn’t show up in your mailbox, don’t blame us. However, CBS will also be distributing the flash drives to American Airlines customers this month, according to another source.

“Cadillac is CBS’ Monday driver” [Hollywood Reporter]
(Photo: Chris Walters)

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  1. BowlingForDollars says:

    Um, I didn’t get one in my copy. And I’ve been a subscriber for years.

  2. MalcoveMagnesia says:

    I ignored that little white thing when I first saw it (“mmmm, looks like candy, better not eat it”), but now that I’m reminded it’s a real USB flash drive I pulled it out and stuck it in my Macintosh.

    And… nothing happens.

    There’s a compressed “cbs_mac.zip” file on the drive that decompresses, and the decompressed Flash file is what you can double click to actually see the multimedia on the drive. There’s enough space on the drive (36 Megs) free to hold the uncompressed “CBS_Mac” document (which is 4 Megs). Why they didn’t put the uncompressed Flash player on the drive is a mystery to me.

    3/4ths of “targeted” Entertainment Weakly readers aren’t going to go to the trouble of inserting this little thing into their computer, and 3/4ths of those people who are Macintosh users aren’t going to know (or care, or read the directions in tiny font at the bottom of the mag’s advertisement) enough to uncompress the .zip file on the drive.

    So all in all, I’d say General Motors has paid some company scads of money for a promotion that’s going to reach a single digit percentage of the audience who actually notices there’s a flash drive in their magazine.

    @BowlingForDollars, the place where you are located probably determines who got the ad or not. where are you? I am in San Francisco, affluent land of DINK 20/30-somethings.

  3. ry81984 says:

    @MalcoveMagnesia:

    They probably compress it to save time transfering the files to the usb memory.

  4. morganlh85 says:

    I bet it has spyware on it though.

  5. morganlh85 says:

    @bowlingfordollars:

    Try reading the WHOLE article next time…

    “In the past, we’ve found from talking to people in other parts of the country that these multimedia campaigns don’t always cover an entire subscription base-so if it doesn’t show up in your mailbox, don’t blame us.”

  6. @bowlingfordollars: I’m a subscriber and I didn’t get that issue, period. Hm, where’s that customer service number again….?

  7. nffcnnr says:

    i gots mines, i live near dallas. i have not let that thing near my ‘puter for fear of spyware.

  8. kingoman says:

    The first one I ever bought was 128MB and they’re still quite useful.

    I’d be interested to hear if anyone finds that these install any DRM monitoring or enforcing software (the way Sony CDs did for a while) or any other kind of spyware. This feels like a way to get software onto your machine. If you want someone to view a Flash presentation, why would you not just put a URL in the ad?

    USB sticks represent an interesting way to send multimedia presentations to targeted customers (and this might be just that), but they’re also a potentially huge security hole if you run one from an unknown source. I know, CBS isn’t unknown, but nobody expected Sony to install spyware, either.

  9. SpaceCowgirl01 says:

    I got my trusty 1 GB Flash Drive for free when I worked as an intern and we received as part of an electronic press kit a flash drive containing video clips of the “Fast and the Furious” ride at Universal Studios. I’ve used it for everything for over a year. Now I just am the weirdo with a flash drive with the “Fast and the Furious” logo on it.

  10. BowlingForDollars says:

    @MalcoveMagnesia: I’m in a large cosmopolitian city in the Southeast.

    @MorganLH85: I read the whole article, genius.