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What makes telenovelas so popular?

Date:
October 15, 2013
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
A particular type of consumer enjoys stories with plots, characters, and imagery that allow them to get lost in the narrative, according to a new study

A particular type of consumer enjoys stories with plots, characters, and imagery that allow them to get lost in the narrative, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

"Stories have the power to change people's behavior," write authors Tom van Laer (ESCP Europe Business School), Ko de Ruyter (Maastricht University), Luca M. Visconti (ESCP Europe Business School), and Martin Wetzels (Maastricht University). "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."

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.

"Consumers who are 'transported' are changed by their experience. People who lose themselves in a story accept the story is true and relate to the characters," the authors write. "As the Hopi proverb goes, 'The one who tells the story rules the world,' and now we know how."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Tom van Laer, Ko de Ruyter, Luca M. Visconti, and Martin Wetzels. The Extended Transportation-Imagery Model: A Meta-Analysis of the Antecedents and Consequences of Consumers' Narrative Transportation.. Journal of Consumer Research, February 2014

Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "What makes telenovelas so popular?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131015113911.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2013, October 15). What makes telenovelas so popular?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131015113911.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "What makes telenovelas so popular?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131015113911.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

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