The primary measure in the success of any message or persuasive aspiration in a mass communications context is the extent of the ongoing self-propagation of the gestalt information content, bundle or pattern represented by that message. Brand association with emotive, controversial or inflammatory issues is a method to rapidly attract popular interest, media buzz and to effectively influence message uptake and memetic self-replication.
The accelerated, recombinatory hyper-inflation of an abstract information and communications space is attributable to the ways in which the system as a whole (and across, in and through its many instances) biases its own self-reproduction. This is a principle of exponentiating recursion and self-reference: the extent of the success of the self-propagation of a message in an information network becomes the extent of the success of the self-propagation of that message; an essentially recursive and self-gravitating tautology similar to the notion of someone being famous merely for being famous. The value of popularity garners more popularity and even negative publicity or inflammatory reactions serve to further replicate that message. Studying and understanding this mechanism allows for the cultivation of leverage in any competitive transactional context.
Human minds are also self-propagating patterns of information and, as such, are foundationally, cognitively vulnerable to manipulation and influence. We constitutively exist as complex patterns of information and energy, the primary purpose of which is to seek to both directly and indirectly self-propagate those systems of information and structured energy replication. Biological systems and cultural technologies (of varying degrees of sophistication) may superficially appear to be arbitrarily separate or isolated; at a deeper logical and functional level they all share the same underlying bias towards systems self-replication.
Our own essential nature only avails itself of analysis in ways which lead us to question some of our most intimate and closely-held assumptions. You are fundamentally not who you think you are and neither am I but a self-conscious acknowledgement that we may actually be other than that which we have always assumed (or been entrained to believe) we are is of little assistance in navigating the actual embodied turbulence of our lives.
Effectively articulating the logic of this particular problem-space is endlessly problematic.