We love us some Big Ass Fans. A few months ago we profiled them here and noted that there were both fans (pun intended) of the name, as well as foes who were offended by its cheakiness. Now comes word that the company is taken to the streets of Manhattan to see if the die-hard New Yorkers has a problem with the company’s name.
The company, which started life as the HVLS Fan Company, adopted the name “Big Ass Fan Company” eleven years ago. They appear to revel in the memorable, descriptive and very controversial identity—even creating an official mascot named “Fanny the Donkey.”
Apparently, “The word ‘ass’ offends people because it’s thought of as one of the original swear words,” said Bellace. “But to be quite honest with you, you see ‘ass’ in the Bible, you see ‘jackass’ all the time.”
In fact, if you go back to ancient Hebrew scripture, or in ancient Greek writings, “ass” simply means donkey every single time.”
So, it was left up to Fanny, the nearly six-foot, walking and talking donkey to roam the streets of Manhattan to test the public’s reaction to a walking-talking donkey, and of Big Ass Fans. Much to their surprise, those of varied ages, ethnicities and sexes, said the name, in relation to the company being the worldwide leader in large diameter, low speed fans, wasn’t offensive, but rather appropriate for its products.
To gather further insight, the unlikely duo consulted experts, including Matt Bellace, Ph.D. Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Rachel Wagner, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Religious Studies at New York University, and Lou Hammond, a renowned marketing executive. These humorous conversations with authorities and the public are captured in a video entitled, “Get Behind Fanny! Big Ass Fans in New York City” on the company’s YouTube channel.
But we need not be convinced. Like we said, we are fans of the Big Ass Fan Company.