A poster on flickr wants to know what I think of balloon marketing™, and why car dealerships use it.
I have a guess: Because it looks like you're trying.
Old chairs, ugly paneling, flourescent lights, smelly carpets--these things do not look like you're making an effort. Helium balloons and fresh flowers, on the other hand, do.
And it's human nature to believe that someone who is willing to try is someone who might cut you a better deal, might be a bit easier to deal with, might actually lead to a process you enjoy.