The Mascot of the Year

Day 7 of Dumenco's 12 Days of Holiday Giveaways

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So far in this month's Media Guy's Pop Pick give-aways of some of my favorite media of the year, I've highlighted two funny books (here and here), and a bunch of DVDs (here and here and here and here). What I really wish I could give you, though, is, like, a six-pack of tube socks and maybe a three-pack of underwear (the sort of stuff that, seriously, my mom would wrap up and stick under the tree during my recessionary childhood in Wisconsin).

But of course tube socks and underwear are a bit of a stretch as media picks, so instead I'm giving away a T-shirt that features My Favorite New Licensed Character of the Year: Angry Panda. I started getting cryptic press releases earlier this year about Angry Panda's appearances around the world -- in Japan, Denmark and other global destinations, as well as at the Comic-Cons in San Diego and Long Beach. He even popped up as a mourner (clustered among flowers and other stuffed animals) on Michael Jackson's Hollywood Walk of Fame star, in a shot that got into Time magazine. And last month I got a release announcing that "Angry Panda will be coming to bookstore shelves sometime in 2010" as a children's book.

Though I couldn't glean any details about Angry Panda's creator from his website, with a little sleuthing I was able to find out that a Los Angeles viral-media mischief-maker named Shawn Socoloff is the man behind the beast; when I reached him by e-mail, he remained cagey about what his panda is all worked up about. No matter. Me, I don't care why Angry Panda is angry. I just appreciate the fact that, clearly, he feels my pain. He is a mascot for our times. Remember when Hello Kitty seemed relevant -- in shinier, happier times? Honestly, after what we've all gone through in 2009, I'd pay good money to see Hello Kitty and Angry Panda in a cage match. We all know who would win.

An Angry Panda licensed plush doll is due in 2010. In the meantime, maybe you want one of the two Angry Panda camo tees I'm giving away in my random drawing? (If you win, I'll e-mail you to ask you your size; the tees are unisex.) See the details below.

P.S. Stay tuned: There are five more days of picks (and 10 more giveaways) to come.

THE FINE PRINT: To enter the random drawing for one of two Angry Panda camo tees in this informal Media Guy's Pop Pick giveaway, send me an e-mail with "Angry Panda" in the subject line on or before Dec. 31 (the cut-off is 12 midnight EST). You must have a valid U.S. mailing address and be 18 or older.

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Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" media columnist for Advertising Age. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco

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