How Queer Eye Star Antoni Porowski Trumps Neil Patrick Harris and Why New York Is #1
SAN FRANCISCO—January 28, 2020— Bospar, the boutique PR firm that puts tech companies on the map, today released data from its third annual San Francisco Naming Day Survey, to commemorate the naming of the city on January 30, 1847. Overwhelmingly, 57.6% of Americans know that the appropriate name for San Francisco is simply San Francisco. But an even larger percentage (59.5%) admit to using “San Fran,” even though 40.2% know that San Franciscans hate the nicknames “San Fran” and “Frisco.”
When asked why people should avoid saying “San Fran,” Americans said the number one reason is that it’s not the name of the city. That was followed by the fact that people who live in San Francisco hate it. The next most popular choice was that it implied a false sense of intimacy with a place by calling it a nickname that locals hate. More than one out of ten Americans said saying “San Fran” makes you look dumb.
The people who use “San Fran” the most are tourists, followed by the uneducated and Trump supporters. Regionally, the people most likely to say “San Fran” were New Yorkers. Americans said President Donald Trump was the most annoying in his use of “San Fran,” followed by Kim Kardashian, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, Kanye West, and Neil Patrick Harris.
“Last year we wrote an open letter to Neil Patrick Harris, explaining why using ‘San Fran’ was not acceptable,” said Bospar principal Curtis Sparrer. “We told him that using a person’s or place’s accepted name is a vital part of their dignity, communicating your level of respect. While it may seem trivial, doing the exact oppeosite follows in the footsteps of President Trump, who belittles his enemies with names like ‘Pocahontas’ or ‘Crooked Hillary.’ I would argue that calling people by their preferred name is not just the fundamental challenge of public relations but also the challenge of our time. Nothing more than civility is at stake.”
Sparrer continued, “While Neil Patrick Harris didn’t change his tweet, we did notice an encouraging development. When Antoni Porowski of ‘Queer Eye’ announced his book tour, he tweeted, ‘San Francisco, I’m so excited to return on 9/18 for my #AntoniInTheKitchen book talk.’ Neil Patrick Harris, Kim Kardashian, Donald Trump and others should take a page from a celebrated self-help guru and call San Francisco by its proper name.”
When people say “San Fran” the most likely outcome was to ignore it. The second choice was to judge them but say nothing. Over one in ten Americans (12.8%) say they will subtly correct the offender by replying with “San Francisco.” A slightly smaller percentage (10.3%) admit to making faces, while 7.7% say they immediately correct the person. A small percentage of people (2.6%) will either stop talking to a “San Fran-er” or even hit them.
What’s encouraging is that more Americans say they will stop saying “San Fran” since it drives locals nuts. In 2017, 67% of Americans said they would stop. That has now grown to 73%.
Despite the loss of Oracle World to high costs and the homeless, that is not what is top of mind for Americans when asked about the region. Most Americans identify the region by its landmarks: Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, the San Francisco Bay, the “Full House” television series, the LGTBQ community, or its sports teams (the Golden State Warriors, San Francisco Giants and San Francisco 49ers). Homelessness ranked 11th out of over 30 categories. However, high rent prices came in at number seven. When asked how their perception of San Francisco has changed over the past year, one in four Americans said they like it more, over half of Americans said they neither like it or dislike it, and 16% of Americans said they like it less.
“The name, San Francisco, carries with it a rich history of beauty, art, social change, and progressive thinking,” said Gabrielle Ayala, Principal, of Propeller Insights. “It’s no surprise that those who live there, and have lived there for many years, demand that everyone respect the name and what it means to them. One interesting aspect of San Francisco’s image that we see is the differences by age. Older generations have a strong associations to its landmarks and sports teams, and even to more current issues like high rent. Younger generations don’t have as many strong associations with any one thing, or set of things, but rather a diverse image of the city, which is likely a result of more access to information about the town and its many offerings both culturally and financially.”
When asked to rank their favorite cities, New York topped the list:
- New York
- Las Vegas and Nashville
- Los Angeles
- San Francisco
- Washington, D.C.
- San Diego
But every city has a nickname. Americans ranked the ones that annoyed them the most:
- Hollyweird – Hollywood
- Big D – Dallas
- Frisco – San Francisco
- San Fran – San Francisco
- Bean Town – Boston
- Sin City – Las Vegas
- The City That Loves You Back – Philadelphia
- America’s Finest City – San Diego
- The Big Apple – New York, and City of Angels – Los Angeles
- The City of Brotherly Love – Philadelphia
About Propeller Insights
Propeller Insights is a full-service market research firm based in Los Angeles. Using quantitative and qualitative methodologies to measure and analyze marketplace and consumer opinions, they work extensively across industries such as travel, brand intelligence, entertainment/media, retail, and consumer packaged goods. Propeller conducted its national online survey for Bospar of 1,105 U.S. adults between November 9 and November 11, 2019. Survey responses were nationally representative of the U.S. population for age, gender, region, and ethnicity. The maximum margin of sampling error was +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.
Bospar is a boutique tech PR firm featuring a team of highly seasoned professionals who exist to put tech companies on the map. Bospar’s principals include a long-time PR and tech industry guru, a former broadcast TV producer and award-winning media maven, a standout PR agency manager from the corporate side of a leading global law firm, and an experienced executive with both agency and public company credentials. Bospar’s larger team includes experts in both social and traditional media, as well as financial and analyst relations and public affairs.