A friend sent me that famous quote from “Romeo and Juliet”:
What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.
I knew it, but this is conclusive evidence that Shakespeare had never heard of branding, conspicuous and inconspicuous consumption, etc. Who says there is nothing new under the sun?
As we now well know, marketing and advertising can tremendously enhance even the most trivial experiences, and create "value" out of this air - as "real" as the value previously associated mostly with back-breaking physical labor. If anyone has doubts, self-professed (and proud) "adman" Rory Sutherland recently explained it very clearly in yet another TED talk.