Tech stars: Geeks are the new celebrities

It’s official: geeks are the new class of celebrities. They now rank as high in status as athletes and moviestars as brand spokespersons.

While Baby boomers may find this switch in status hard to believe, Millennials have embraced it without question. For this younger generation, a film titled, “Revenge of the Nerds” simply wouldn’t make sense. The Nerds won years ago. They are no longer underdogs, deserving of pity. These days, “Revenge of the Baristas” would be more believable.

Millennials view tech geeks as the inventors responsible for the many cool gadgets, games and social software that they use every day. Who wouldn’t want to grow up to be the creator of The Next Cool Thing?

At a more subliminal level, the generation raised on Harry Potter sees tech geeks as modern-day wizards. Rich wizards, at that. “Forget medicine, Dad, I wanna study computer science.”

GAP was one of the first brands to pick up on this trend and feature the likes of Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai, the founders of Foursquare in their Fall 2010 ad campaign. [Full disclosure: GAP is a long-time client]. A recent Mercedes Benz ad featuring Vic Gundotra, Senior VP of Social Business at Google (the man behind Google+) has proven to be phenomenally successful. Watch for other brands to follow this trend in 2012.