Marketing is one of those complex fields of human activity, like military strategy or sex, where efficiency and effectiveness are poorly correlated.
In many settings, economically illogical behaviour is advantageous because it is unexpected. Likewise in relationships, humans instinctively shy away from people who are “economically efficient”.
It is not that businesses do not know that advertising creativity works. No, deep down in their hearts, people in business know perfectly well that advertising creativity works. It’s simply that they do not feel comfortable with the fact that it does. It messes with the map of the world they hold in their heads. They would rather pretend that their success is attributable to efficiencies, economies of scale, cost-cutting or any MBA guff than to think that it might be due to psychological factors.
Phenomenal piece by Rory Sutherland, I’d argue that a lot of the points on marketing and advertising could apply to services and eventually products.