You're certainly not wrong. It started gaining popularity after Nosler got it SAAMI approved, they should have been advertising the heck out of it but didn't and now that you pointed that out, you're probably right in saying it won't gain the same popularity as the Creedmoor because of it. I still think it will become more common place in the next 5 years. At this time, it's really the only long-action non-magnum and 30-06 based cartridge that keeps up with the newer modern cartridges out there right now. Honestly surprised Hornady hasn't jumped in with a dedicated long-action non-magnum round yet (7mm Creedmost? )I would say similar, but different. The 6.5CM was marketed very well. Certain attributes where highlighted, and shortcomings weren't mentioned. It was new, it was easy to shoot, and it had a lot of long range potential without recoil. The time was right as the magnum concept was getting a little tired, and folks were ripe to be deviated from it. The low recoil appealed to the softer generation of millennial shooters. Credit spending was at an all-time high, and social media was an explosive new platform for sleek advertising.
The 280 AI has been around for a while. It had a lot to live up to when it was introduced, and I feel like it has long lived in the shadow of the 7mmRM. But while it's a skosh slower, it really is a significantly more efficient cartridge. For reloaders, it offers a marked advantage over 280 Rem. I think now that the a large portion of the shooting public is bored again, the 280 AI is getting a spotlight for what it does well, not where it falls short compared to its big brothers like it did when Magnums were the be all end all. It's getting a spotlight it couldn't at its inception.
And lets face it, unless your a die-hard short action fan, it's superior to the 6.5CM in just about every way!