POSTED BY: | March 6, 2012

University of Illinois News Bureau

Beautiful people, scenic locations, cool music and … the right plot structure? It turns out that a plot structure found in folktales is potent in television advertisements, according to published research by Jeffrey Loewenstein, a professor of business administration at the University of Illinois.

Advertisements that use a “repetition-break” plot structure – that is, a pattern of similar events that’s broken by a final event, which ultimately creates new meaning for the viewer – generate more favorable brand attitudes and greater purchase intentions from consumers, as well as more plaudits from industry peers, Loewenstein says.

According to Loewenstein, the most popular example of the form is the MasterCard “Priceless” ad, which first ran during the 1997 World Series and has since spawned similar campaigns in more than 90 countries.

Read more here.