Aspirational marketing is the action of promoting brands, messages or services through a mentoring and emulation approach. There is not pressure or hard sell. The effectiveness of aspirational marketing is the innocuous approach it uses. We identify with things that are positive symbols to us and respond to them through our following.
Aspirational marketing plays on our most base instincts. Going back to our very survival instincts. Humans have an inherent need to be the best "survival of the fittest". We identify the fittest through comparisons against what our culture deems desirable; beauty, wealth, success, big houses, private jets, etc. Aspirational marketing plays on these desires by creating the strongest incentive to purchase of any; biology.
Regardless of which thought you are, there is clear and compelling that aspirational marketing is effective. It can be used for purposes of pure altruism such as civic responsibility or for less benevolent ends.
We love to follow the leader, because most of us aspire to be the leader regardless of our motivations.