In this short film from Deutsche Telekom, Billie Eilish dispels the notion that members of Gen Z, such as herself, can't plug into the physical world and make a difference in the lives of others.
Images of young people glued to their phones flit past as the Grammy winner's voiceover begins: "Look at us. Just a bunch of kids who are screen obsessed. Disconnected. Not in the moment, right? Because, like, how can a generation that lives online know anything about the real world? We're just clicking and swiping our way through life. Phones in our hands, and our heads in the cloud."
As the two-minute spot unfolds, however, it becomes clear that the very opposite is true. We watch youthful activists address IRL issues close to their hearts, hitting the streets for demonstrations and addressing government committees:
"When it comes to what we really care about, the difference we can make means even more now," Eilish says, ultimately appearing on a phone screen, as her epic track "When the Party's Over" builds in the background. "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?"
The spot ends with the line, "We're here for this generation and what they do next."
Timed to International Youth Day on Aug. 12, the ad from Saatchi & Saatchi U.K. and Somesuch director Vincent Haycock feels pointedly understated, its muted approach packing considerable punch. The closing shots of Eilish on set, holding her phone while filming this very spot, provide a potent visual metaphor for the overarching message.
Moreover, the film effectively projects the artist as an eloquent, down-to-earth, quirky-in-the-best-way spokesperson for Gen Z and the brand.
In the interview clip below, Eilish—whose past adventures in branding included Apple's 2018 holiday film, a Grand Clio winner at Clio Music the following year—shares the stage with some of her peers, who discuss their responsibility as global citizens and how technology helps them stay focused and informed: