"Investing in the future - with bold, differentiating and strategically clever measures".

They've done it again. In an interview with Werbewoche.ch, Lajos Vizner and Guillaume Borel of ViznerBorel explain why their agency is once again on the cover of the current Werbewoche, and how the advertising industry is doing after a few months of pandemic.


"Sold: ViznerBorel": The September issue of Werbewoche is published - like the previous one - with two covers.

Advertisingweek.ch: In July, your agency advertised with the surprising claim "For sale: ViznerBorel" on the cover of the Advertising Week. What reactions did you get to this ad? 

Lajos Vizner: We have received a lot of positive feedback. From "very inspiring interview", "it's so fitting for you guys" to "not only is the lead good, you guys come full circle very coherently. I haven't seen any agency besides you guys come up with anything really clever at the moment." We certainly drew attention to ourselves with this action and showed courage, even if the purchase offers failed to materialize (laughs).


In the September issue you now follow up: "Sold: ViznerBorel" is written on the Advertising Week-Cover. Why did you decide to go one step further in terms of communication? 

Guillaume Borel: Only communication that sparks ignites a fire. For us, it was clear from the beginning that this action needed a resolution. Now is the right time for it. After being blocked for almost five months, it is now time to take another step forward.


How should we understand that you were blocked?

Vizner: During the lockdown, it was difficult to generate new business. The majority of customers were preoccupied with themselves and coping with the crisis, which is understandable. After the opening in mid-June, everyone was still very uncertain and the tanker first had to slowly pick up speed again. Then came the big summer holidays, when many people declared their solidarity with Switzerland and discovered the beauty of the country. During all this time, we had no choice but to look positively and confidently to the future and to keep reminding ourselves as an agency. At the end of the day, no one knows how things will develop. Therefore, the motto for everyone is and should be to invest in the future with bold, differentiating and strategically clever measures and campaigns.


On the second cover page you show work that you have successfully realized. Why exactly these projects?

Vizner: These works are representative of the style of our agency. Just recently I had to put together an agency presentation. Once again, it was not easy for me to make a selection. Over the past 17 years, we have had the privilege of realizing many outstanding projects for our clients. Every single campaign has been strategically clever, has a strong, differentiating and sustainable idea, where the spark jumps over to the consumer and lights a fire. This makes us proud, because behind all these assignments there is a lot of heart and soul and honest consulting and creative quality, which have the sole aim of bringing our clients' products and services to the consumer. We have never been interested in industry awards. Neither our clients nor we can buy anything with them. By the way, after the recent agency presentation I received a WhatsApp message with the following content: "Wow! Congratulations! I know a lot of agencies after all, but your presentation really convinced. You guys are doing great stuff!"


Parallel to the July cover you said Interview with Werbewoche.chthe Corona situation was disastrous for the advertising industry. Do you see a certain recovery in the meantime?

Borel: Yes and no. As I mentioned at the beginning, there is still a great deal of reticence and uncertainty. For many of us, it is still a dance on very thin ice. True, there are noticeable trends pointing in a different direction. But until Covid-19 is defeated, it will remain a game with fire. Fortunately, we have a lot of experience in dealing with fire (laughs).


Covid case numbers are currently on the rise again. If we are threatened with a second lockdown in autumn or winter, what will happen to the agency industry? 

Borel: The Swiss economy will not be able to afford a second lockdown. The consequences would be too severe. I can imagine that individual cities or regions will be quarantined. All we can do is live with it and make the best of the situation. But if, contrary to expectations, there is a second lockdown, it will probably lead to the death of the agencies and really shake up the entire Swiss economy.


Lajos Vizner (left) and Guillaume Borel (right) wish for society to return to a certain normality soon.

Are politicians doing enough to support the advertising industry - after all, an industry with many thousands of employees?

Borel: Politics is doing what it can. With the model of short-time work, some things can be cushioned somewhat. However, this will also not be a permanent state. The advertising industry, without having to discuss it, is badly affected, but there are other sectors of the economy that are doing really badly, such as the travel, tourism and event industry - or all those individual businesses that are fighting for their existence every day.


If you could make one wish for the last months of the "annus horribilis" 2020, what would it be? 

Vizner: Speaking for the world, we wish for Covid-19 to be defeated as quickly as possible, to return to some semblance of normalcy. Although nothing will ever be the same again. For us, we would like to have major clients from the retail and retail trade, so that we can use our energy and our "feu sacré" to develop sustainable, differentiating strategies and campaign ideas, as we have been able to do in the past for clients such as Porsche, Denner, UPC, Migrolino, Ikea and many more. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our existing clients for their loyalty and faithfulness to ViznerBorel. Once again, it has been shown that when client and agency act as a team and pursue the same goal, that even in difficult times, the impossible can be made possible with a cooperative, professional approach and a great deal of trust. 

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