Billie Eilish rallies Gen Z in phone-positivity campaign for Deutsche Telekom

Work encapsulates positive influence of phone usage.

Deutsche Telekom has enlisted musician Billie Eilish for a campaign showcasing the positive influence of phone usage among Generation Z.

Created by Saatchi & Saatchi and set to When the Party’s Over from Eilish’s Grammy-winning album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, “This generation” shows a series of “screen-obsessed” young people as they interact with their phones.

“How can a generation that lives online know anything about the real world,” Eilish remarks amid shots of young people protesting, celebrating Pride and promoting sustainability.

The ad ends as Eilish declares: “Maybe next time they see us staring at a screen and they ask us what we’re doing on it, why don’t we show them what we’re doing with it.”

It launches today (Wednesday), which is the United Nations' International Youth Day, and is running across social media platforms. The work was created by Mia Silverman and Francesco Grandi, and directed by Vincent Haycock through Somesuch. Media was handled by Emeriq and WPP's Team Magenta.

The campaign includes behind-the-scenes interview content with Eilish, who has previously lent her voice to causes such as Veganuary and performed a lockdown concert earlier this year for Pepsi

Deutsche Telekom said it will continue to explore the theme of “#WhatWeDoNext” via its music marketing channel, Telekom Electronic Beats, with a focus on providing a platform for Gen Z.

“The seismic events of 2020 will impact the younger generation for years to come; culturally, socially, economically,” Wolfgang Kampbartold, vice-president of international market communications at Deutsche Telekom, said.

“We want to provide Gen Z with a voice and a platform from which to demonstrate how they are harnessing the power of connected technology to make a real difference.

“In collaborating with Billie and our team of young people, we are shining a light on the incredible potential of this generation as they navigate a new future.”

Research carried out by Kantar on behalf of Deutsche Telekom found that 83% of Gen Z feel that connected technology is key to building a better future.

Kate Stanners, chairwoman and global chief creative officer at Saatchi & Saatchi, said: “There is a misconception about Gen Z that they stare at their screens and do nothing. 

“Deutsche Telekom believes in harnessing the power of technology to improve their lives and the lives of others. They want to enable this generation to fully participate in the opportunities that connected technology can give them, be that social, cultural or economic.”

In 2018, Three adopted a similar approach via its tongue-in-cheek “Phones are good” campaign, which envisioned the benefits of smartphones in historical scenarios.

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