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Ad Vet Wants to Help World with Children’s Book, Profit Wildly from Commercialization of Said Book

Meet Octicorn, a half-octopus half-unicorn abomination that has either teeth or gills affixed to the front of its face.

What began as a simple sticker designed by former W+K producer and current filmmaker Justin Lowe now has a Kickstarter page devoted to bringing Octicorn to life in the form of a children’s book. The hope, of course, is that Octicorn’s mixed-species parentage will help little boys and girls who have tails or whiskers feel better about themselves, knowing that somewhere, there’s a terrified looking seabeast who’s also a bullying victim just like them. Remember, any two animals can successfully conceive offspring with the power of self-confidence.

As with anything created under the guise of “children’s entertainment,” Lowe already has planned for his book to become Disney-fied with pillows, t-shirts and, potentially, a mobile app that finds Octicorn searching for his true parents, only to find that they disowned him years ago when they tried to distance themselves from their “crazy sexually experimental college years.” In fact, if the $15k total is met in the next 24 days, there’s even the hint at a future Octicorn rap video that finds our loveable hero talking about how a history of getting bullied inevitably turned him to the gang life, where he worked as a drug runner until getting in with a connected producer who helps him jump start a hip-hop career under the pseudonym “Ock-T.” Dreams do come true, if you pony up and donate to this Kickstarter.

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The Dalai Lama Can’t Swim, Has No Desire to Surf

As you slide into weekend mode, spend 5 minutes watching this Dalai Lama interview clip from PTTOW! Summit 2011. At the invite-only conference, celebrities and business leaders gathered to talk shop, and His Holiness also happened to be there. He spoke to the crowd about his world views and then took questions from the audience. Surfer Kelly Slater decided to ask a unique question, avoiding the philosophical shop talk. Slater went straight to his forte around the 3:00 mark in the clip, asking if the Dalai Lama would be interested in catching some waves with him.

On a side note, did not get to ask his question to the Dalai Lama, but at least he tried.

PTTOW! and Kindling Media released a few other videos , including a 26-minute clip you can watch after the jump about brand reinvention with Chrysler head of marketing strategy and operations, George Neill. No word yet on whether he surfs.

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Red Tettemer’s Annual Facebook Swag-athon Commences

Well, there you have one of of the last updated pieces of swag being doled out via Facebookby Philly-based agency, Red Tettemer + Partners. We suppose doing the same type of thing around the same time of year for three years in a row makes it worthy of being called an annual event, so we’ll just run with it and let you know that the remnants of the agency’s client work is not being wasted. RT+P is once again offering ‘swag for all,’  giving away client merch from the likes of Under Armour, the Melting Pot, Right Guard, Dial, TuB Gin, Ska Brewing, Leatherman and Fox Networks. The generosity extends through Friday so in case you somehow missed the link above, try again and get your swag on here.

MINI Gives Graphic Designer ‘The Best Test Drive Ever. Period.’

Late last year, MINI USA and agency Butler, Stern, Shine & Partners asked its consumer fan base to describe “The Best Test Drive Ever. Period.” in exactly six words. Out of 14,000 submissions, MINI selected Portland-based graphic designer Mathew Foster‘s six-word description as the winning entry. His contribution? “Stewardess, Salt Flats, Paratroopers, Sushi, Falconer.” Well, Mathew, your wish is MINI’s command.

In November, Mathew and his girlfriend were flown to L.A. to begin filming what would become the above 2-minute cinematic short film, coming soon to a movie theater near you. Let’s go inside Mathew’s fantasy and the resulting spot from MINI and BSSP:

Stewardess: Remember that the more politically correct term “flight attendant” would’ve cost Mathew an extra word. MINI responded by giving Mathew a stewardess co-pilot. We hope his girlfriend was supportive of this artistic decision.

Salt Flats: No, it’s not the most original idea for a car ad. But, Mathew defends his location choice in the press release by saying, “I had just seen a Steve McQueen movie and that’s where the initial idea came from.” You just can’t argue with the “King of Cool.”

Paratroopers: It would’ve been cooler if the parachutes were on fire or something.

Sushi: Smart move on Mathew’s part by getting a free meal out of this. Having the stewardess feed it to him was a nice touch.

Falconer: “Initially we opened up with a falcon dropping the key into Mathew’s hands.” says BSSP CD Steve Mapp. “But we needed a better ending, so a Google search revealed a Swedish band named Falconer and that became our big crescendo ending at the very last minute.” Rock.

Do you think you can beat Mathew’s entry, dear commenters of exceedingly creative marketing prowess? Feel free to do so below.

Today in Swag: Campfire’s ‘Dark Score Stories’

Well, compared to its immense promotional kit for season one of Game of Thrones, Campfire’s latest TV marketing effort is a bit more modest and mysterious. But perhaps that’s what A&E’s upcoming adaptation of Stephen King‘s Bag of Bones calls for. This morning, the New York-based Campfire sent us a photojournalism portfolio called “Dark Score Stories,” a 60-page visual narrative shot by Joachim Ladefoged that serves as a prequel to the miniseries, which premieres on Dec. 11. The subtle, yet nicely packaged tome leads us to the “Dark Score” website, which includes more images, background and audio interviews with the characters, who should be familiar to those of you who’ve read Bones.

Sure, from the looks of it, it’s not the most immersive campaign that Campfire’s been behind (see True Blood or “Shark Week” work) nor did it come with the most impressive piece of swag, but we can’t say that we’re not intrigued by the agency’s latest project. Maybe that’s just our Stephen King bias showing, though.

Today’s Swag: What the Hell is a Knorpoon?

Every week or so, we get our fair share of swag (here’s looking at you, Game of Thrones) but this one had us somewhat puzzled. Apparently, M&C Saatchi’s L.A. base is trying to improve upon everyone’s favorite utensil, the spork, by unveiling the “Knorpoon” in the hope that its hometown restaurants will begin utilizing them. From what we hear, negotiations are underway and M&C Saatchi is aiming to mass-produce the product. As you can see above, we have one on our desktop though we haven’t put it to good use as of yet. Check the note below for more clarification.

Future Lions Poster is Actually Pretty Nifty

We always love when get pretty little things in the snail mail and this one’s no different. Here’s your AKQA-created Future Lions poster, which even if you can’t recognize from the blown-up version after the jump, features lovely odes to past Cannes Lion winners including the Halo 3 blitz and Cadbury’s “Gorilla.” Yes, we get that the Sonic/Heathcliff hybrid is emblematic of the young lion, and here’s their nicely done promotion. By the way, submissions are closed but here’s the legacy to live by.  We’re doing a little social experiment in the office to see how long it sticks in one of our conference rooms, but we’re confident it will last through the weekend.

(h/t Alex Weprin and Stephanie Yang)

‘Thor’ Marketing Blitz Includes Agent Test Kit

It looks like Campfire and HBO’s marketing team may have some competition when it comes to developing and sending out some intriguing marketing material. Though there’s no doubt that the Game of Thrones swag was pretty inventive, RP& and Brooklyn shop Dead As We Know It give the aforementioned parties a run for their money with the Agent Test Kit that promotes Thor as well as RP& client Acura’s role as official vehicle of Marvel’s fictional law enforcement agency, S.H.I.E.L.D.

The kit, which includes an invite from the agency’s director Nick Fury, comes with a series of tests and includes a nifty Livescribe pen, a vial of paralytic concentrate and what looks like a real scorpion in a jar. The Test kit directs “new recruits” to, where you can connect to Facebook and create your own badge, complete tasks, watch the Thor trailer and indulge your special agent fantasies. Now, we await the imminent arrival of a Thor-themed taco truck on our NYC streets.