Q&A on the News

Q: What is the official name of the holiday we celebrate on Feb. 21 that furniture stores insist on calling Presidents Day?

-- Bill Brockman, Atlanta

A: The official name is Washington's Birthday, according to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Although Washington was born on Feb. 22, the holiday is observed on the third Monday in February, according to an act passed by Congress in 1968. Congress rejected a proposal to change the name to Presidents Day, in honor of Washington and former President Abraham Lincoln, who was born on Feb. 12.

Q: I am aware that the Darth Vader commercial for VW was shown on the Internet early, but were any of the other commercials shown before the Super Bowl?

-- Mac MacDougal, Atlanta

A: On the Saturday before the Super Bowl, Tech website grownupgeek.com posted YouTube links to watch 14 ads marked as Super Bowl ads. Some appeared in longer form than those airing during the Super Bowl. Advertisers showing their ads early in an effort to one-up the competition were: Audi, Cars.com, CareerBuilder.com, Planters Peanuts, HomeAway, Kia, Hyundai, Chevy Volt, Chevy Silverado, Chevy Camaro, Chevy "Transformers," VW Black Beetle, Doritos and VW Darth Vader, according to the site. Others, such as Motorola Mobility, revealed partial ads, The New York Times reported. Northwestern University marketing professor Timothy Calkins told the paper that the current ad strategy is "how you position yourself in advance of the game" because the number of Super Bowl ads makes it difficult to stand out.

Lori Johnston wrote this column. Do you have a question about the news? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or e-mail q&a@ajc.com (include name, phone and city).