Kristen V. Brown For Marketers, Sentimentality Trumps Slapstick Tugging at the heartstrings: an eternal tactic of marketers of everything from coffee and peanut butter to long-distance phone services and those charities for abused and neglected animals. But a pickup truck? The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth A math major with a specialty in abstract mathematical concepts like combinatorics, Ben Liang envisioned a future as a financial analyst—outside of academia, a natural career path for number crunchers and the same route his dad had taken. Attack of the Ad Nerds At 17, Anne Chiu stood in the middle of her family’s tchotchke-filled Brooklyn, N.Y., living room to pitch her father. Since visiting the small ad agency where her uncle worked two years earlier, she’d been dreaming of ditching her destiny as a math and science geek at New York’s Stuyvesant High School for a future as a Mad woman.