Why creating good work requires both logic and emotion

Here our advertising correspondent Ben Kay discusses the role of the left-brain and the right-brain in creating advertising. There’s a place for both romanticism and classicism in ad land, he says

Robert M. Persig’s book Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance discusses a tension that exists in most areas of life, that of the classical vs the romantic. Put very simply, the romantic perspective is about imagination, inspiration and intuition, whereas the classical is about order, logic and workability.

This is the same tension that we talk about when discussing left-brain and right-brain viewpoints, and it underpins creative advertising.

I think most of us would like to think of ourselves as romantic: free thinkers unbound by the strictures of mechanical processes, free to fly amongst thoughts and ideas until we decide to pluck one from the air and place it gently at the feet of the brief.

Who wants to be classical? Taming those beautiful butterflies with questions like ‘How much sense does it make?’ ‘What does it mean?’ and ‘Does it need to be there?’. It’s the grim life of the policeman, the accountant or the judge.

But that is a misinterpretation. I would argue that every good team needs one of each, and every good ad is composed of both.