Appealing to people's vanity is a time-honored method of salesmanship.
Trying appeal to people of average or below average intelligence, or "smart people" who are terribly insecure will cover a lot of ground. In fact the only sections of society to which it does not appeal, are the small portions of secure, very intelligent people or weirdly disconnected unassimilated mavericks1.
While not exactly subtle, this propaganda is effective. It's also useful even when trying to sell an idea, instead of a product. Why else would anyone endure lengthy pseudo-intellectual books, lectures or articles, except for the fact that they have been told that's what smart people do:
"Smart people don't enjoy television, smart people don't like video-games, smart people like James Joyce." The more suggestible (not necessarily the same as 'less intelligent') accept these arguments and act as if having "intellectual tastes" increases your native intelligence. I do not find this particularly bothersome, unless I have to interact with someone who actually believes that reading Salinger or Margaret Sanger makes them smarter than the rest.
Truly "smart people" seem to be able to wring out a lot of intellectual goodness from the most barren and unappealing mental spaces, and are able successfully interact with less intelligent people; being an "intellectual" however guarantees neither of these abilities and seems to preclude them.
1. For the record: I hate the term maverick, because true mavericks are almost universally hated, so slightly daring and endearing term "maverick" is never used to describe them. I also really hate notes and references
in addition, for contrarians like myself there is: http://youarenotsosmart.wordpress.com/