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Baffled Shoppers Face Obstacles, Elves and Captivity in This Bizarre Discount Store Stunt Would you take this 'Adventure Quest'?

Behold! The lowest of the low-budget hidden-camera pranks has been created for discount retailer Ocean State Job Lot, and it is steeped in local commercial magic.

The chain, with 116 stores in the northeast, hired MMB in Boston to make this spectacle whose meager production budget perfectly matched the message that the store is committed to low prices. In fact, if they had spent much more, the video wouldn't have been nearly as good.

In the clip, several bewildered customers are given the option to go on an Adventure Quest to win a heater. It starts when they ring a bell and get a blast of fake snow to the face. Then, Old Man Winter, a character from OSJL's TV spot, tells them that Santa has been captured by the wicked Markup King (the guy who works at the mall) and they need to set him free.

Setting him free and winning the heater, however, involves an obstacle course with light-string barbed-wire, wreath tires to run through, a snowball catapult, and more fake snow to the face while a mildly deranged elf named TutTut does her shrillest drill sergeant impression.

Once through the course, they're led to what is clearly the employee room, welcomed by Santa and forced to search the mailbox block/advent calendar and get more snow in the face before Santa's true game is revealed!

And of course, there are lots of trumpets. Because everyone loves trumpets.

November 24, 2014, 5:19 PM EST

If the Rio Olympic Mascot Isn't a Cat, Then What Is It? Public is asked to name mashup creatures

The 2016 Rio Olympic Games mascot was unveiled Monday, and while we don't know what the name of the creature is, one thing's for sure. Following in the line of cat-like creatures that are not cats—pointing the finger at you, Hello Kitty—it's not a feline.

According to its official description, the long-limbed, pointy-eared, tailed creature is a mixture of all the Brazilian animals including cats, monkeys and birds. It should come as no surprise that he is existentially pondering "Who am I?" on his description page.

Likewise, his sidekick, the Paralympic Games mascot, is a tree that is not a tree. It's a combination of all the plant life in the Brazilian forests. Or it's an overenthusiastic artichoke that's turning blue from lack of oxygen. Take your pick.

People echoed the same confused reaction on Twitter.

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November 24, 2014, 4:19 PM EST

This Agency Made a Really, Really Big Deal of Hiring Its 100th Employee, and He Wasn't Expecting It Elliot Nordstrom's first day at McGarrah Jessee

Lots of agencies do interesting things for new hires—like Red Tettemer O'Connell + Partners, which has been known to carve their faces into the heads of crayons.

McGarrah Jessee in Austin, Texas, did something quite a bit more grandiose for Elliot Nordstrom's first day. See, he is the agency's 100th employee, which called for quite the celebration. Check out the video below.

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November 24, 2014, 3:09 PM EST

Scrawny Arms Rob Lowe Is DirecTV's Freakiest Rob Lowe Yet Good luck with that jar of mayo

While shy-bladder sufferers debate the offensiveness of Painfully Awkward Rob Lowe, DirecTV is plowing ahead with all sorts of other less-than-ideal Rob Lowes—you know, the ones with cable and not DirecTV.

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November 24, 2014, 2:36 PM EST

This Great Billboard for a Magic Festival Is Like Its Own Little Magic Show A mop with a mind of its own

Ever wonder what Harry Potter would do with an ad campaign? Have a look at this.

The Quebec City Magic Festival wanted to make sure people noticed its billboard, so ad agency lg2 sprinkled a little magic into the board itself in a playful feat of meta-vertising.

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November 24, 2014, 12:35 PM EST

Rapper and Weed Lover Waka Flocka Flame Finds His Calling as a Throat Drop Spokesman 'Can't live without my Pine Brothers'

You know how Saturday Night Live commercial parodies have that certain feel to them? Overly sincere music plays as a testimonial begins, then the audience starts to laugh as they're let in on the joke.

Well this bizarre ad for Pine Brothers throat drops, starring Atlanta rapper Waka Flocka Flame, has that exact vibe—though you'll have to supply the laughs.

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November 24, 2014, 11:13 AM EST

Dads With Daughters Will Love This Christmas Ad from Dick's Sporting Goods Growing up around a basketball hoop

In this holiday spot from Dick's Sporting Goods, part of the chain's "Gifts That Matter" campaign, a father buys his young daughter a basketball hoop, presumably for Christmas. Through the years, it becomes part of the family's daily life and a focus of neighborhood activity during pickup games, parties and even bittersweet goodbyes.

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November 24, 2014, 10:49 AM EST

Banker in Need of an Orgasm? There's a Vibrator for That Lelo creates a sex toy exclusively for financial crowd

The 1 percent truly get everything catered to them.

Sex toy maker Lelo has launched Pino, a vibrator especially made for bankers. The device itself is your standard stretchable vibrating silicon ring, but the devil is in the packaging details. It comes with matching Lelo silver cufflinks, a money clip engraved with "Always Be Closing" and a pinstripe shirt inlay—all for the price of $159.

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November 21, 2014, 12:59 PM EST

Adorable Ad Might Actually Make You Care About the Plight of British Hedgehogs And if it doesn't, nothing will

The cuteness factor is awwwf the charts in "Saving Harry," a two-minute animated film by Wildlife Aid U.K. that follows the journey of the titular hedgehog from suburbia back to the woods where he belongs.

An adorable hedgehog puppet moves through an amazingly well-realized illustrated world. Every element is superbly crafted, from Harry's pale reflection in the puddle to the grimy, discarded food tins and liquor bottles in the alley, and ultimately, the soft sod of the forest floor and ringed bark of the towering trees.

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November 21, 2014, 11:56 AM EST

This Hipster Business Name Generator Is About to Become Your New Obsession An overused look becomes fun fodder to sell domains

Forget all those sites that randomly generate band names, stripper names and hobbit names. This one could make you rich, my friends. Brooklyn rich!

The Hipster Business Name Generator creates a random combination of quirky nouns and drops them under a stylized X, with the requisite stylish dingbats and initials. The resulting names—such as Fox & Otter, Spyglass & Bean, Whiskey & Cake—are good for a laugh, especially when paired with icons of tiny rabbits, knives and muffins.

The site, which was quickly generating pass around among creative types today, seems to be a marketing effort for domain registration site, where you can conveniently click off the generator to book a site for your lovely new business venture. Or maybe the creators simply picked a booking site at random, though that seems rather unlikely. 

Try it for yourself and let us know your most fruitful combinations. A few of our favorites below.

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November 20, 2014, 8:15 PM 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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