It's a new school year, so once again I'm teaching a new marketing class at NYU this semester. It's always great fun to kick off the class with an icebreaker to get to know the students and to ease into the coursework.
My icebreaker is always about brands ... something like, "Name a brand that you can't live without."
It's a question that I've posed before, and it's always fascinating to see the range of brands discussed from beauty to fashion to travel to food to ... technology.
This semester was quite different though, because the range of beloved brands was very narrow. All the students talked about were technology brands: Google, Apple, Uber, Microsoft ... the list of technology brands was endless with lots of overlap among the students.
It struck me funny, but then again when you look at lists of the world's most admired brands, it is definitely loaded with technology brands. Our lives revolve around and depend upon technology so there should be no surprise that the discussion would reflect that.
It should also be no surprise either that a brand like PayPal would try to capitalize on this phenomenon in their new campaign.
In a series of videos, banner ads, billboards, and print ads we see the brand portray the new technology generation, "The People Economy" ... an entire new generation of people who are completely wired by technology, changing the way our culture interacts, communicates, plans, entertains, and yes even shops.
PayPal is positioning itself in the center of this new generation, giving these folks the fuel they need to carry out their online, technology lives.
It's quite compelling, and quite accurate especially given my experience with my students this year in class.
I've been inspired by this new generation of students and consumers as they take our culture forward and as they motivate me to do more and more and more ... with technology in hand.