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SNL Takes a Cold, Hard Look at Santa's Secrets in 'Serial' Parody What exactly happened on Dec. 25, 1999?

SNL is on fire lately, and this weekend's episode was no exception. So many gems. From Mike Myers bringing back über-villian Dr. Evil to comment on the Sony hack scandal to a perfect mock ad for "Asian American Doll," there was no shortage of sincere laugh-nuggets. 

But the best bit of all was Cecily Strong's noteworthy impression of Sarah Koenig, the host of podcast darling Serial, which just wrapped its first season. Last week, we were treated to Funny or Die's genius Serial spoof, and SNL's holiday take is just as good. 

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December 22, 2014, 10:45 AM EST

Naughty, Bare-Chested 'Party Santa' Gets a DUI in South Dakota's Holiday Ad Don't be like this degenerate Kringle

'Twas the night before Christmas, and inside the jail, Randy the "Party Santa" sat drunken and pale. Earlier that night, after drinking whiskey and rye, Randy tried to drive home, and got a DUI.

Such is the fate of the flask-toting star of this holiday-themed print ad from the South Dakota Department of Public Safety. With his scraggly beard, ample chest hair and a cigarette protruding from his pouty lips, the dude looks more like a '70s porn actor gone to seed than St. Nick.

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December 22, 2014, 10:18 AM EST

13 Dogs and a Cat Eat With Human Hands in Freshpet's Holiday Extravaganza Brand grabs the meme

Videos of dogs eating with human hands are nothing new, but Freshpet is taking the joke to its extreme with a holiday spread featuring 13 dogs—plus a token cat.

The meme is natural comedy, and the corporate production raids the tradition while bringing in wardrobe, writing and camera-ork touches that you might not get from homemade versions.

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December 22, 2014, 9:34 AM EST

Can This Beer From CP+B Make You Suddenly, Incredibly Creative? Follow the instructions and find out

Science recently confirmed what we previously had only suspected—that alcohol, in the right amount, does tend to produce the most creative thinking. Professor Jennifer Wiley and her team at the University of Illinois at Chicago pegged the ideal blood alcohol content for creativity at 0.075 percent. That level is known as the creative peak, and may well be the ideal state for problem solving, inventing and general "out of the box" thinking.

Using that data, Crispin Porter + Bogusky's Copenhagen office has come up with the perfect beer for creatives—an IPA called The Problem Solver.

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December 19, 2014, 2:46 PM EST

This Homage to Famous Modern Directors Was Made Entirely With Stock Footage Shutterstock's ode to Fincher, Anderson, Tarantino and more

Shutterstock has scoured its library of footage and music to compile a truly impressive tribute video to some of today's most visually iconic directors.

Tracking shots, wide shots, old-school technology? Yep, that's Wes Anderson. Low-light, blue-filtered, almost voyeuristic images of shadowy chambers? Totally David Fincher. Quentin Tarantino and arthouse favorite Terrence Malick also get their due.

Representing Alfonso Cuarón with random spacewalk footage a la Gravity seems a bit reductive, but otherwise, the video does a surprisingly effective job of capturing each director's aesthetic. 

If you've got an idea for more directors Shutterstock should show tribute to, you can leave a comment on the company's blog or try making your own with its in-browser editing tool, Sequence.

Via Design Taxi

December 19, 2014, 1:48 PM EST

Adorable 2-Year-Old Girl With Down Syndrome Shines in This Target Ad Trend of inclusion continues

Izzy Bradley, a 2-year-old Minnesota girl with Down syndrome, made headlines this week for appearing in a Target print campaign. Rocking a frilly pink-and-purple dress, Izzy poses next to an activity cube on sale for $49.

"I really appreciate Target's policy of including them in their ads," says Heather Bradley, Izzy's mom, who heads the local chapter of the Down Syndrome Diagnosis Network. "I'm really surprised at how much excitement has come from it. I've had people share it so many times. On Facebook … it's got up to half a million likes."

Models with Down syndrome have been making inroads of late. In 2012, a boy named Ryan appeared in circulars and catalogs for Target and Nordstrom, while Valentina Guerrero, a 10-month-old from Miami, made a splash fronting a campaign for Spanish swimwear designer Dolores Cortés. Last year, teenager Karrie Brown appeared in a photoshoot for clothing line Wet Seal.

"I really just hope that if a new mom, or an expectant mom, were to see a little girl [with Down's] in an ad, that they would just have that sense of hope for their child," says Heather Bradley, "and that they would know there's a great future for them."

What's more, such appearances help shatter stereotypes as we strive for a more inclusive society where different is the new normal, not something to be feared or shunned.

December 19, 2014, 11:02 AM EST

This Is What Happens When a Bunch of Men Write Your Tampon Commercials It isn't pretty, or scientifically accurate

Periods can be confusing, and not just for those of us who only paid attention to the sex-talk part of 9th grade health class. Sketch comedy troupe Hammerkatz highlights that confusion hilariously with this parody tampon commercial.

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December 19, 2014, 9:21 AM EST

This Beautifully Simple Site Makes It Easy to Create the Right Digital Color Palette Made for app designers, it's handy for all

For the most talented designers, creating a palette of complementary colors comes easy. For the rest of us, not so much.

Enter Material Palette, a site launched this week by European coder Matt Aussaguel to help Android app designers find the right color options within Google's new Material Design language. What's especially nice is that the clean, user-friendly resource is actually helpful for anyone who ever finds themselves in need of a quick array of colors for a digital design (or a kitchen remodel, in my case).

There are lots of color palette creators out there, but most involve sliders and rainbow wheels and all manner of intricacy I'd rather not deal with. With Material Palette, you click two colors you want to use, and boom—you get eight colors that work and play well together. (See example below.) The colors use traditional hex codes, too, so you can use them just about anywhere, from Photoshop to your site's CSS.

Try it for yourself here.

Hat tip to Google Design's Twitter feed for spotting and sharing this one.

December 18, 2014, 12:32 PM EST

Meet the Two Singers Who Helped Make Apple's 2014 Holiday Ad So Special Dana Williams and Rhiannon Giddens

Apple is back to take you behind the scenes of its sweet holiday ad about a musical recording that spans generations.

Singer-songwriter Dana Williams, who stars as the granddaughter in the commercial, recaps its premise—she finds a vinyl copy of the Gershwin standard "Love Is Here to Stay" that her grandmother cut for her grandfather in the early 1950s, before he went to war in Korea. Then, Williams overdubs new guitar parts and harmonies using Apple's GarageBand software, to make a nifty holiday present for her grandmother.

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December 18, 2014, 11:52 AM EST

If You Loved Aaron Draplin's Logo Tutorial, Here's More of His Design Wisdom Tattoos and TED talks with everyone's new spirit animal

If you were on the Internet this week, you probably saw the video of Aaron Draplin building a logo from scratch. If not, go watch it—we'll wait. 

OK, are we all on the same page? Great. Now, as a new fan of his work, you can go watch his other videos in chronological order-ish. 

Below, Draplin stars in a couple of videos from Vans' "Living Off the Wall" series, as well as clips of other talks he's given, including a TED presentation in Portland, Ore., and a speech titled "The DDC 50 Point Plan to Ruin Yer Career."

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December 18, 2014, 10:24 AM EST

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AdFreak is your daily blog of the best and worst of creativity in advertising, media, marketing and design. Follow us as we celebrate (and skewer) the latest, greatest, quirkiest and freakiest commercials, promos, trailers, posters, billboards, logos and package designs around. Edited by Adweek's Tim Nudd and David Griner.

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