Well if you're talking advertising, I agree the quality of the sound/ visuals will tend to give a product a sheen of excellence it may not actually possess in real life. But I seriously doubt the viewers of a you tube video explaining how a magic trick is performed will be saying "jeez the highlights are blowing out" or "those skin tones look a little off"...
I appreciate your viewpoint though, personally I always value quality. I'm sure most people here do. But the reality is that budgets will always limit the image quality available, and sometimes it matters more than other times.
But that's also why a good DoP is so important, because good cinematography can often make up for less than perfect image capture technology.
I also doubt that any normal audience member watching a Hollywood movie sits in the theater thinking things like "those highlights are blowing out or those skin tones are off."
Point being is that CONTENT is generally what general audiences consciously notice, be it "how to do a magic trick" or the next Spielberg epic. What they UNCONSCIOUSLY "notice" is how that information/entertainment is presented visually and audibly. Whether they know it or not, things like lighting, lens choice, camera movement, acquisition medium, exhibition environment... all go toward their perception of the product.
So, if the normal man-on-the-street consumer has the choice to either go see a badly shot, badly lit, hard to hear movie that is really funny and otherwise entertaining.... vs seeing the very well lit and shot movie with a killer ssoundtrack but the story is mediocre at best.... the odds are that Joe-six-pack will pick option @2 because it superficially looks and sounds better. In the same way, the person looking for a how-to on a magic trick on YouTube will naturally FIRST gravitate toward the slicker production before checking out the one shot with an old Magnavox Moviemaker.
I think that everyone values quality, but it goes farther than that. I think that people just naturally gravitate toward what APPEARS to be a quality project according to their first impressions whether those slick projects deserve that attention or not.