As the previous post attests, I love to make fun of advertisers and marketers.
I have done so at least since journalism school, where we were under the same academic umbrella as the advertising and PR students. I quickly understood that though were were all learning communications skills, the difference was that we would use them for the common good, while they would use them for the private good. And yes, from that understanding I donned a moral superiority that was hardly justified but perfectly appropriate for a too-young know-it-all.
So, even if I still like to make fun, the seasoning I've taken on in the three decades since lets me appreciate good writing and clever ideas, no matter where they emanate from, especially if they come mixed with a dose of the irreverence that was a staple of every newsroom I've ever been in.
And that, finally, brings me to Big Ass Fans, an exhibitor at AIA last week. I am writing about them entirely because of the name, and I don't know how you could possibly not love it.
The fans look cool, too. They are indeed big, but the blades on the two samples hung over their booth were gleamingly clad, and they have little winglets (probably not the technical name for them) at the end that sit up at 90 degrees, suggesting airplane wings of a certain design. No doubt, they have a common aerodynamic parent.
I chatted with one of their floor reps, explaining that I cover green topics typically, and that I had stopped there not because of their energy-saving potential but because I just liked the name. But like almost everyone else at the show, he had a green-tinted pitch ready to fire, and he let me have it: Even the biggest Big Ass Fan has only a 2-horsepower motor, giving their products the ability to make a space "feel 7 degrees cooler at, like, light-bulb power." That's an old-green-school point for which I shouldn't have needed reminding: Whether they create a breeze in hotter months, or bring heat down from the ceiling in winter, fans condition the air much more cheaply than condensers and furnaces.
I was also charmed by another thing the rep said: When I commented on the irreverence of the name, he assured me that the company has "no-ass packages," so that any customer who might fear offending a guest needn't see the product name on the fan. In my food-support groups, I can think of plenty of friends who would gladly purchase a no-ass package.
Because the company's customers are museums, libraries, and large offices, I'm not likely to be in the market for a big ass fan, but if I ever do, I'm going to call Big Ass Fans.