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Meet the Makers E7: Saatchi & Saatchi London: Billie Eilish x Telekom


How Billie Eilish got Gen Z to pick up the phone.

They’re the most sought after audience for every brand; they spend the most time online, and yet somehow remain the hardest to reach.

This episode pulls back the curtain on Deutsche Telekom and Saatchi & Saatchi London’s collab with Billie Eilish; What We Do Next. Franki Goodwin and Cali Fish of Saatchi & Saatchi London walk us through how they collaborated with Billie Eilish, and uncovered three key learnings for nailing communications with Gen Z;

1. Give the audience the platform.

Enlisting a squad of activists, entrepreneurs, and visionaries meant that Deutsche Telekom broadcast real Gen Z talent to the world, saying more about the brand than it ever could in its own words.

Says Saatchi & Saatchi’s ECD Franki Goodwin, “When you’re doing a campaign that celebrates the amazing achievements of young people, you should find real young people and real achievements.”

Building brand affinity is easier when the brand embodies the audience, and showcasing talent from whitehackers to UN delegates pays off for Deutsche Telekom in spades.

2. Mood doesn’t always need to match tone.

When building an emotional connection, brands are often tempted to simply reflect the mood they want their audience to feel in the tone of the ad.

Instead of combating Gen Z’s lackadaisical perception with bursting optimism, the spot harnessed its apathetic tone, delivering positivity to the audience in a way that an energetic tempo and hyped up voice-over never could.

Of their spot, Goodwin explains, “The voice over in some ways is quite dark, and quite cynical. Optimism doesn’t always have to feel so optimistic.”

3. Think conversations, not just campaigns.

Engaging an audience that doesn’t want to be engaged will always be a challenge—but it’s not impossible—as the team behind ‘What We Do Next’ discovered. Truly embedding your thinking within your audience means your brand isn’t cold calling from the outside, and gives it the power to lift from the inside.

Using a platform like YouTube meant the team were ready to respond when the floodgates opened. “We didn’t speak for them, we spoke with them”, says Fish.

Giving the audience a platform meant Gen Z felt like they were speaking with themselves, as opposed to being talked at by a brand - demonstrating that sometimes bringing a dialogue to an audience rather than a proof point can foster a greater connection.

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