The Greatest Hits of Binet & Field

A selection of the most important data and charts by the IPA’s Godfathers of Effectiveness

Tom Roach, Managing Partner, Performance, at BBH London compiles his own selection of the most important data and charts by the IPA’s Godfathers of Effectiveness.

Ask people in adland who the godfathers of effectiveness are, and the only names you’ll hear are ‘Binet & Field’. Within our world, their names have the reach, fame and impact that their work says we should create for our clients’ brands. A measure of their fame is that it extends well beyond the strategy fanboys and fangirls who’ve read every report and claim to have been at their first gig, to people who can’t pronounce Binet and add an ‘s’ to Field. In fact it might not be an exaggeration to say that no two individuals in the history of our industry have done as much to prove its commercial impact. Together they are the undisputed advertising effectiveness champions of the world.

You may have spotted by now that I’m a fan. And that’s because for those like me whose role is to champion effectiveness and build an effectiveness culture in their agency, trying to do our jobs without the intellectual underpinnings of Binet and Field’s analysis of the IPA Databank is inconceivable. Their work has provided so much evidence to support so many essential principles: the strong relationship between share of voice and share of market, the fundamental link between creativity and effectiveness, the need to balance long-term brand-building with short-term sales activation, the exceptional power of emotional and fame-driving campaigns, to name just a few.

But if I had one wish, it would be that their work could travel even further. Be even more famous, make even more of a difference to even more marketers and their brands, especially to a new breed of digital and social media specialists. Those, though well-versed in some of the latest platforms and marketing tech, may not all have some of the fundamental principles of marketing effectiveness (still applicable to their work regardless of the platforms they’re using) burned into their retinas.

In fact I’ve observed a worrying and increasing knowledge gap amongst this new breed – through no fault of their own I have to add. But encouragingly I’ve also seen a hugely positive response to Binet & Field’s work from them when they’re exposed to it. I know this because last year I started tweeting individual data-points and charts by the IPA, Thinkbox, the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute and other trusted data sources, covering many of the basic principles of marketing effectiveness. From the comments and shares I was getting I could see that alongside the existing B&F fan-base, there was a big, new audience out there who seemed to have missed out on learning the basics but who were incredibly hungry to learn. Further proof of this was when a recent article I wrote for our own blog BBH Labs, a compilation of the data-points and charts that had proved most popular on twitter, proved a big hit and seemed to cross over to this newer audience.

So given the reliance of that article and its accompanying slide deck on Binet & Field’s work for the IPA I wanted to select my own ‘Greatest hits’ from their huge back catalogue. These are the charts that in my experience have proved most popular, enduring and useful – in persuading CMOs, CEOs and wider stakeholders to do the right thing for their brands.

Please steal these charts, use them, and spread them far and wide for every marketer to come across. And thank you Les and Peter for everything you’ve done and continue to do.


Last updated 01 May 2024