nice find. The thing they don't mention in the article is the cigarette manufacturers. They've been at the forefront of this trend (see Marlboro's branding in recent years for an example). They're doing it to circumvent the logical extension of the tightening global grip on smoking. Soon, they won't be able to use anything resembling advertising at all. So all they have are the colours and shapes.
I think the author is right when he says that in general, the main reason is that we process images MUCH faster than words. It's a fact of our biology. However, the potential for wrong attribution rises, too. That's why you won't see your local bakery adopting this approach anytime soon :) It's the big boys playing.
So, much ado about nothing, really.