Influenced by advertising is a slightly misleading premise. They weren't trying to sell a product or a candidate. They were attempting to change mindsets by triggering viral outrage.
Instead of the advertising industry, think of how the Daily Mail in the UK and Fox News in the US have successfully turned millions of our parents into grumpy old gits who think everything is rubbish about the modern world and associate that with 'progressive' politics. Works pretty well doesn't it.