I'm also leery of conspiracy theories in spite of being a conspiracy buff. I prefer to explain things as being the result of self interest, laziness, conformity, short sightedness and stupidity whenever possible.
A lot of advertisers had something to gain by pushing their products by any means they could dream up. Advertising then made no more sense than it does now. You can read old magazines and watch old TV shows and it might seem they are all pushing a certain agenda. But it may be they are following the path of least resistance, basically chasing each others' tails instead of thinking up new ideas.
There was a lot of criticism of advertising, conformity, suburbia and all the other shibboleths of the time. Look up "The Hidden Persuaders" "The Insolent Chariots" and numerous other works.