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Digital Natives. Look Behind the Scenes of the Polish-produced Campaign Featuring Billie Eilish14.08.2020

What does the generation that lives online know about the real world? Does their preference for the glowing screens of their smartphones sever them from their surroundings? These and other questions are asked by the latest commercial for Deutsche Telekom, featuring the young performer who has taken the music world by storm. The campaign was produced by Papaya Films. 

Billie Eilish x Telekom "What We Do Next" Behind the scenes

The German telecommunications giant unveiled the commercial on International Youth Day, established by the United Nations back in 1999. Deutsche Telekom put real-life “digital natives” front and center in the campaign, and chose five-time Grammy winner and Gen Z idol Billie Eilish to narrate the ad.

Nearly all of the footage was shot in Warsaw, right before the coronavirus pandemic. Produced by Papaya Films in collaboration with Saatchi&Saatchi London and the Somesuch production house, the commercial was directed by California-based director Vincent Haycock. DP duties were handled by Mátyás Erdély. The ad was filmed over three shooting days across a dozen locations. The commercial features a couple of dozen of influences, actors, and extras selected at international casting calls. 

The campaign highlights the positive impact that technology may have on young people and the broader society they live in. For kids born between 1995–2010, who grew up online, using digital technologies feels completely natural, which makes them more inclined to apply it in their efforts to solve global problems. 

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

The campaign was filmed right before COVID-related restrictions and lockdowns were put in place earlier this March. 

Research published by Deutsche Telekom reveals that Gen Z exhibits high optimism about the potential offered by technology. Eighty-three percent of the polled Gen Zers believe that technology is key to building a better future. After the wave of lockdowns and social distancing regimes implemented to counter the COVID-19 pandemic, the share of young Europeans who believe tech can be useful in learning and education has skyrocketed to 93%, while 86% declare that technology helps them connect with online communities and develop shared interests.  

Aside from Billie Eilish, the campaign features six other young influencers from all over Europe, including young German musician and YouTube personality Fabian Grischkat, Dutch and Greek climate activists Jahkini Bisselink and Eirini Vougiouka, as well Polish artist and performer Leo S, who is a DJ and co-founder of the FINESSE collective. 

Billie Eilish CELEBRATE Generation Z Tech Positivity #whatwedonext
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