JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: This Sunday marks a big day in the American calendar: I'm speaking, of course, of the 200th anniversary of the incorporation of the Gas Light Company of Baltimore, the first gas company in the US.
No, it's Superbowl Sunday. And I have to admit, despite one of the teams playing being New England's own Patriots, I'm pretty disinterested in the match up. I've always been more of a college football gal. However, the influence of the game - what the heck are you going to talk about on Monday the 6th if not what you ate and saw? - means even those of us who Just Don't Care get sucked into the viewing event.
This year, I've discovered a little secret that could save us the whole afternoon. Did you know advertisers are putting the Superbowl commercials online BEFORE the game? Yes! Now, instead of cramming onto Ben and Diane's sofa with seven other people, stuffing your face with twelve-layer bean dip, you can see the ads everyone will be talking and Tweeting about in the comfort of your own home. Become conversant with the following seven spots and, with the addition of the useful-for-all-occasions phrase, "I can't believe they just gave that play up," you, too can hold your own in the coffee break room on Monday.
Mercedez Benz assures us that even if we're old and gray, we're still Born to Be Wild. Starring Peter Fonda, who is ridiculously hot for a 76-year-old.
Budweiser traces it's roots back to the immigrant story of Adolphus Busch, who (true fact) came to America at the age of 18 because as the 21st of 22 children, he knew he couldn't expect any help establishing himself from his father.
What's funnier than "Eco-Warrior" Melissa McCarthy saving the world and driving her Kia Niro? Nothing, that's what.
Touching and pointed in today's political climate (cf, Budweiser Born the Hard Way,) Audi asks how to tell our daughters they aren't worth as much as our sons.
Perfect for thriller writers (and Jason Statham lovers) this exciting spy-meets-spy scene has almost nothing to do with creating websites. But who cares?
Also on the list for writers of the macabre: Kathy Bates gets some help from Turbo Tax on dealing with the unexpected additions to her new home.
And finally, the irresistibly vulgar, cheerfully crass Half Time Bathroom Break, brought to you by Febreze. Do you think they have knitted flag toilet seat covers anywhere else in the world?
How about you, dear readers? Will you be watching? Tell us about your favorite ads, past or present!