True or false, Carlsen's ad campaign can give a sparke to some young kid somewhere in the world who sees it and thinks: I'm going to be a chess player one day!'
Let's further state that a chess-player, deeply concentrated during a game, in general is not particularly a pretty site to watch. Sure, a deep crack in the forehead might look photogenic in the papers, but photogenic and mass appeal are two different things. Maybe this is the first problem when considering the image of chess: People tend to identify the act of playing a game of chess with the character that's playing. For the same reason, people tend to think that moviestars and politicians can grow to mythical proportions because they talk about things bigger than themselves. The succesfully used slogan 'Yes, we can!' makes you think you're part of a larger than life community while, at the end of the day, all Obama needs from you is your vote. Strange things happen here. The mask of the exciting event is projected at the person that's holding the mask, and make the person exciting. Or dull.
Let's see how it works in real life and why chess, despite it's image, is often used by producers and directors in Hollywood and actually looks cool while doing so.