Effectiveness Month: Binet And Field Return With ‘Media In The Digital Age’

At the IPA Effectiveness Week Genesis Conference, Les Binet and Peter Field unveiled the first findings from their third volume unpacking the IPA datamine for ad effectiveness nuggets.


Binet and Field may seem like unlikely Charlton Hestons, but it’s no secret how vital their first two books of commandments have been for the way modern marketers understand advertising. The first, Marketing In The Age Of Accountability, laid the groundwork for an approach that puts Fame and emotion in their rightful, central place in ad effectiveness. The second, The Long And The Short Of It, explained how effectiveness was best-served by a long-term focus.

Both these volumes were landmarks in using evidence-based marketing science to drive profitable brand growth. The new one looks set to be just as important. Here’s our summary of the session, from BrainJuicer Labs MD Orlando Wood Continue reading

Off Target

P&G made headlines last week when they announced they would be rebalancing their Facebook advertising spend away from targeted advertising. “We targeted too much, and we went too narrow”, as chief marketing officer Marc Pritchard put it, concluding that Facebook targeting was useful for time-specific advertising (like nappies for new Mums) but ultimately lacked efficiency. P&G’s TV ads, like the 5-Star Thank You Mom, speak to everyone. But its Facebook spend was way too specific.

thank you mom

At BrainJuicer, we’ve made no secret of the fact we aren’t huge fans of heavy targeting as a marketing practice. As a behavioural intervention it makes sense on paper – if you genuinely can guarantee that you can reach someone just as they’re about to make a relevant decision, why not get your brand in front of them? This is what makes Google Adwords such a great product, since search is as good an indicator of relevance and decision imminence as you can find. But targeting based on interests and histories – which is what most digital targeting boils down to – does not meet that criteria.

But the real reason we’re suspicious of digital targeting-based strategies is that they make one huge, and misguided, assumption. Continue reading

Baby Look At Me And Tell Me What You See

We talk a lot about fame at BrainJuicer. “Fame ads”, “famous marketing”, “making your brand famous”. At one point our FeelMore50 list of the most emotional ads was going to be named after Phemes, the classical Goddess of Fame. (Thank Susan, our CMO, for talking us out of that one!).

We apologise to our younger readers for the old reference, and to our older readers for the earworm.

We apologise to our younger readers for the old reference, and to our older readers for the earworm.

You might be surprised to learn that “fame” is a technical term. Well, sort of. We borrowed the word from Les Binet and Peter Field’s work analysing ad effectiveness, which also forms the basis for all our copy testing tools. Binet and Field looked at the stated aims of hundreds of campaigns, and then looked at the major business effects they managed to achieve.

This is a very useful approach. To be clear, most ad “effectiveness” data takes aims at face value. If an ad aims to improve brand image, and then brand image scores go up, it gets counted as a success. But of course, there’s no indication whether that helped cause any hard business effects – like share gain, profit gain, or a reduction in price elasticity.

So Binet and Field were asking: which aims are actually most effective? Which ones do end up moving those particular needles? Continue reading