Tension Taming

The exploration of tension or tensions has always fascinated me. In advertising land, I believe it was Ogilvy who first defined or published using ‘cultural tensions’ as a means to uncover creative idea spaces. Finding tension still rings true today for creative prebrief hot spotting. What’s happening, however, is the lean or preference for negative ‘problem solving’ tension (“What problem are we trying to solve”). I think this is 1/2 of the opportunity when looking for fruitful creative territories.

That’s because if we start wider and with overall tension spaces, we uncover both problem tensions (negative) and opportunity tensions (positive). The importance in noting the difference comes into form within defining the “How do we solve it”.

“Problem tensions’ are almost always designed to change perceptions; whereas, ‘opportunity tensions’ are designed to leverage perceptions. It’s shifting perceptions compared to sharing what exists already in the mind of consumers.

Don’t forget about about leveraging existing perceptions when evaluating the situation for good, actionable brief writing.