Before seeing the ad, the product wasn't worth very much to us, but after seeing the ad, we find ourselves wanting to buy it (and at a premium, no less). The problem is that there's no escape, no immunity, from this kind of ad. Once we see it — and know that all our peers have seen it too — it's in our rational self-interest to buy the advertised product.
Sure, why not? All the cool kids are doing it.
It's not a bad article. I actually liked it. But I am unconvinced about the author's point. Especially after his use of the bedsheet example, which feels to contradict its own point. There is no way to avoid advertising influence unless the product isn't likely to come up in a conversation or during any social gathering. Then it doesn't matter what you buy or if it was even advertised. But everything else is, like, totally done via cultural imprinting mechanism. You need a bit more to do a proof by contradiction. The only thing showed here is that there might be things that aren't explained by the proposed mechanism.
Or did I got it completely wrong?