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Orsolya Szládovics on Hungary’s Small But Thriving Creative Scene

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Wavemaker Hungary's Orsolya is one of 240 preliminary judges who are now busy selecting the finalists at the AD STARS 2021 Awards

Orsolya Szládovics on Hungary’s Small But Thriving Creative Scene

Orsi Szládovics joined Wavemaker in 2019, and before that, she was a senior copywriter at Umbrella and Isobar. This year, she is taking on a new role on the AD STARS Preliminary Jury in addition to her role as associate creative director at Wavemaker Hungary. 

She spoke with LBB about Hungary’s small but thrilling advertising industry. 

LBB> What can you tell us about your hometown in Hungary: what is the creative scene like there? How does living there inspire you? 

Orsi> The advertising industry in Hungary is super small. Not only because we are few in number, but also because we have to be creative on incredibly small budgets compared to the global market. This may seem like a limitation at first, but, as a matter of fact, it is often the very reason brilliant ideas come to life! 

I believe it takes three times as much work for anyone from this small corner of Eastern Europe to create and implement an internationally recognised campaign. On the other hand, the challenge and thrill of this is what keeps local creative experts going. In recent years, there have been more and more Hungarian success stories. And that inspires us all. 

LBB> It’s been a difficult year – what is the biggest lesson you’ve learned over this time? Do you think the pandemic will change the creative industry in any positive ways? 

Orsi> This industry performed miracles in the past year. We have adapted to remote working in no time. In the first few months, we delivered briefs in 1-2-3 days that we would have been given weeks to deliver in pre-virus times. Clearly, we have become much faster and more efficient. I'm very proud of our whole team, but at the same time, I'll be honest, it was exhausting. We all learned how much we need the small talks, the smiles in the kitchen and chatting about insignificant nothingness. This is not working online, and without that it feels we are lonely freelancer robots. 

LBB> Media and creative are coming together again: what is Wavemaker doing differently to other media agencies? 

Orsi> It's very interesting why these two closely related areas have been separated for so long, when, in fact, we can serve our clients' needs much more effectively and creatively if we think in an integrated way.At Wavemaker, this is complemented by technology on a global level. It is not coincidental that our slogan says: ‘Media. Content. Technology.’ 

And alongside efficiency, it's simply refreshing to work together with other areas. It's good to see how much we can add and contribute to each other's work. I really like the way we, as a company, approach advertising. The way we see it, it is not so much great ads that we need to make. Content that is relevant and interesting to people are far more important, especially when they’re produced for them by a brand. 

LBB> You began your career as a copywriter. What do you enjoy most about the writing process? 

Orsi> Copywriting is always a fun game, finding the most expressive word, the most precise phrase to describe the idea, and putting the most expressive meaning into words. While a writer can pick and choose words at will, without limits, our profession is based on conciseness. And this is a game I never get bored of. 

LBB> Do you have any tips for young writers hoping to break into the industry? 

Orsi> No one expects a beginner copywriter to have a ready-made portfolio. There are lots of competitions – just like New Stars – for young people with wonderful briefs. It's worth working on those first. 

LBB> Are there any projects you’ve been involved in that you’re especially proud of? 

Orsi> One of our latest projects, Green Look, has really grown on me.The green look top is a single top. A virtual wardrobe with endless possibilities in the name of slow fashion. In short, we built a technology feature to create a fashion product that bailed out a Hungarian-born Roma fashion designer during the epidemic and allowed customers to dress diversely for their Zoom meetings by purchasing a single designer top. 

I like how it is simple yet addresses multiple problems. It builds on technology, is environmentally conscious and re-thinks our fashion shopping habits in response to covid, while understanding and serving consumer needs superbly. 

LBB> Is this your first time judging AD STARS? 

Orsi> This is my first time, indeed. I cannot wait to see the fresh ideas around the globe brought to life with the help of technology. I’m certain that it will be most inspiring!

Orsi Szládovics is one of 240 creative professionals on the AD STARS 2021 Preliminary Jury. The AD STARS 2021 Awards shortlist will be unveiled later this month via

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Barbara Messer, Mon, 05 Jul 2021 08:28:00 GMT