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René Bresgen

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Deutsche Telekom and Billie Eilish celebrate Gen Z Tech Positivity

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  • Deutsche Telekom teams up with the five-time GRAMMY award-winner to highlight the positive way Generation Z handles connected technology 
  • Study underlines how confident young Europeans are about the benefits of digitalization for society
  • #WHATWEDONEXT campaign to launch on the United Nations’ “International Youth Day” 
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Today at the United Nations’ “International Youth Day”, Deutsche Telekom is is launching an European campaign to mark the occasion and encourage people to be more optimistic about the digital world. Together with five-time GRAMMY award-winner Billie Eilish, the company is creating a stage for the young Generation Z (Gen Z). This puts the spotlight firmly on the first true “digital natives”. The focus is on the positive way young people approach networked technologies to benefit society. The generation born between 1995 and 2010 grew up with the internet. Digital technologies are a matter of course for them. This makes Gen Z a significant driver for digitalization. 

“We all have the potential to make a positive impact on our planet, and I’m hopeful our generation will use their platforms to collaborate and communicate, and make a difference,” commented Billie Eilish.

Deutsche Telekom has defined digital participation as its key aim. The technology company promises: We won’t stop until everyone is connected. Gen Z has a vital part to play in this. Wolfgang Kampbartold, Vice President for International Market Communications at Deutsche Telekom, explains: “The seismic events of 2020 will impact the younger generation for years to come; culturally, socially, economically. We wanted 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.”
 

Deutsche Telekom and Billie Eilish celebrate Gen Z Tech Positivity.

Deutsche Telekom and Billie Eilish celebrate Gen Z Tech Positivity.

Young people convinced of the benefits of digital technologies

Today, Deutsche Telekom has published a study* – “Gen Z and Connected Technology” – that shows young Europeans between the ages of 16 and 26 are convinced that involving young people is the key to building a better future. It also finds that the use of digitalization plays a pivotal role in this. The young people surveyed see knowledge transfer as the greatest advantage. Indeed, some 93 percent of respondents (93 percent in Germany) are of the opinion that digital technologies are useful tools for learning and education. This finding underlines how vitally important it currently is to expand the use of digital teaching in schools. In addition, 86 percent (85 percent) say that they discuss shared interests digitally in online communities. Some 86 percent (88 percent) see digitalization as a key driver for overcoming global sustainability problems. For Gen Z, environmental issues such as preserving natural habitats are among the most important sociopolitical tasks. The study can be downloaded (pdf, 6.4 MB).

There is another thing the study makes abundantly clear – nearly three-fourths (69 percent / 72 percent) of the young people believe that their generation is frequently misunderstood. They feel the reason for this is their openness to the digital world and their matter-of-fact use of connected technologies. This is where Deutsche Telekom’s international #WHATWEDONEXT #DABEI campaign comes in. It aims to educate and highlight the value of digital natives for society as a whole. 

Billie Eilish and other representatives of Gen Z have their say in the campaign film released today. Directed by Vincent Haycock, the advert focuses on the digital activism of young people. Billie Eilish, the voice of her generation, communicates the powerful message. First, she confronts viewers with preconceptions about teenagers, who supposedly stare blankly at their technical devices, devoid of all meaning. „Look at us. Just a bunch of kids that are screen obsessed. How can a generation that lives online know anything about the real world?” 

She then flips this on its head by introducing young people belonging to Gen Z who actively engage with issues such as equality, climate change, IT security, and creativity. Sequences filmed before the coronavirus pandemic show them making use of technological possibilities to further these causes. Billie Eilish: „When it comes to what we really care about the difference we can make means even more now.“ Full of self-confidence, the artist asks her own generation: „Why don’t we show them what we’re doing with it.“ 

Deutsche Telekom picks up the baton of Eilish’s thoughts: „We’re here for what this generation do. And what they do next.“ The hashtag #WHATWEDONEXT is an invitation to share and take part in a discussion on digital optimism. The company presents inspiring Gen Z stories on the international Telekom Electronic Beats music platform and via social media. The initiative aims to raise the profile of young people’s actions and ideas. In addition to Germany, the campaign is also being rolled out in the Deutsche Telekom markets of Austria, Croatia, Hungary, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia.

More information about the #WHATWEDONEXT #DABEI campaign.

Gen Z and Connected Technology report (pdf, 6.4 MB)*: 
Source: The research was conducted via an online survey in July 2020 by Kantar, Munich on behalf of Deutsche Telekom. Young people aged from 16 to 26 years were interviewed in Germany, the United Kingdom, Poland and Hungary, with a total sample size of 4005. 

Campaign Credits: 
Creation: Saatchi & Saatchi, London
Film Production: Somesuch, (LA Shoot: Somesuch LA, Poland Shoot: Papaya Films)
Director: Vincent Haycock, Los Angeles, California
Music: ‘When the party’s over’ by Billie Eilish & Finneas Baird O'Connell
Media: emetriq Hamburg, WPP Team Magenta, Düsseldorf
PR: Proud Robinson + Partners 

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