From a study published in 2002 called, “Cultural objects modulate reward circuitry” (.pdf), scientists note:
“We further suggest that cars are processed in a similar way to faces. Evidence for this suggestion comes from the fact that nearly all subjects described the headlights of the cars as eye-like with the cars facing the observer. If this is true, one might expect that attractive cars seen from the back or the side would not elicit activation in the ventral striatum.”
Their findings indicate that because the headlights of cars resemble human eyes, the part of our brain that identifies other humans is the same part of the brain we use to identify cars from the front.
In “Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation” (Amazon) by Sally Hogshead, she notes:
“The more something resembles a human face, the more emotional attachment we feel for it.”
So, it makes sense to create anthropomorphized characters in our marketing to play on this natural cognitive function.