You make good arguments but I feel like that is a different goal of advertising.
I agree that I could learn of the existence of a product from an ad. I see your point that just knowing about it adds the product to my list of candidates. Searching for a list of brands is not how I buy products in a store or online but I can see how it might be a positive for the product in general.
What I am talking about is the assertion I hear from business people that advertising somehow makes me want a product. That I would be swayed, given the choice, to choose one product over another based, in any part, on whether I've seen an ad.
Your example of the HDMI cable is exactly the opposite of what I am talking about. It wasn't just a funny TV ad- it was an employee recommendation. That has real information and weight to it.
Incidentally- I've noticed that I feel a pang of anger when I am accused of being susceptible to subconscious manipulation. ie "Lots of people, you among them."
Objectively I realize that this might be the case and it would be hard for me to know without testing myself.
I have tried to recognize them to stamp them out.