Tom van Laer (ESCP Europe Business School), Ko de Ruyter (Maastricht University), Luca M. Visconti (ESCP Europe Business School), and Martin Wetzels (Maastricht University) write that stories have the power to change people's behavior.
"Contemporary examples include the persuasive power of Latin American telenovelas, which influence family planning choices and enrollment in adult literacy programs, as well as Internet users sharing written stories, photos, and videos about themselves and their market experiences," they wrote.
The authors wanted to understand what kinds of stories allowed consumers to mentally enter a story, a phenomenon called "narrative transportation."
They also wondered which kinds of consumers were more likely to identify with the narratives.
They reviewed articles written in five different languages that dealt with the theme of narrative transportation and tested consumer reactions to those stories.
They found that consumers were most likely to engage with realistic stories with identifiable characters and plots that easily lead to mental imagery.
They also identified five characteristics that made participants more able to be transported: familiarity, attention, ability to fantasize, higher education, and female gender.
The study is published in the Journal of Consumer Research.
--ANI (Posted on 16-10-2013)