Shortlisted 2018




Lead Agency


Contributing Company



The Challenge

All telco networks face similar problems: even though phones are people’s most cherished possession, telcos are increasingly seen as a commodity, exacerbated by the fact that the product is technically invisible.

Consumers often only care about their providers when phones aren’t functioning which makes branding challenging, especially for our youngest audiences.

In 2020, Millennials will comprise 50% of the workforce. But they’re an audience which is hard to engage: They seek engagement, participation and identity, and as is the case with many established brands, they are Deutsche
Telekom’s least engaged audience.

Millennials are bombarded with ads every day and it’s becoming increasingly hard for branding campaigns to have any effect. Given that Deutsche Telekom’s belief is “Life is for sharing.”, the challenge was to create a way to bridge this belief with the excitement Millennials are constantly seeking.
Telekom Electronic Beats, a music-lifestyle marketing program launched in 2000, exists to bridge this engagement gap but it only reaches a select segment of the Millennial audience.

In 2017 Telekom Electronic Beats’ goal was to build brand awareness for Deutsche Telekom within the hard to reach Millennial target audience.
We knew that Millennials are constantly attached to their smartphone, which is mostly used for music, videos and quick communication. Our challenge was to reach and engage with them on their mobile device through an
innovative and authentic way that also touched them emotionally.

Based on our findings on Millennials’ needs and media behaviour we knew it wouldn’t be enough to simply run a traditional awareness campaign.

We needed something that this specific audience would want to engage with.
Creating content that would appeal to them was a tough barrier but one that we would have to overcome if we were to hit our media goals of reaching this exclusive target audience.

The Strategy

Magenta becomes a content enabler

Deutsche Telekom has invested heavily over many years to make its brand colour, magenta, one of its most recognizable assets.

So, we decided to turn anything that was coloured magenta into an exclusive Deutsche Telekom media channel, using chroma-key technology – the same “green screen” technology used in broadcasting. This magenta-based
media channel would be accessible via our free app, The Lenz.

All the users had to do was point their phone at anything and everything magenta – walls, letters, clothing, etc. The magenta areas would then reveal exclusive content.

But the technology alone was not enough. We needed a partner who would be truly compelling with broad appeal, who could release exclusive entertainment material via The Lenz, making the app more appealing for our young
target audience.

We decided to partner with the world’s biggest virtual band, Gorillaz, who – our research showed – consistently attract a Millennial following because the band technically never ages. This combined with their virtual appearance
provided a perfect opportunity for Deutsche Telekom to offer a unique experience to consumers.

A partnership with a compelling band such as Gorillaz was risky because the brand could be overshadowed. But our strategy was to be the gatekeeper – not sharing the stage with professional performers, but making the band’s
unique and exclusive content available on all things magenta and enabling Millennials to discover their virtual world.

We therefore became an important facilitator for the partnership.
The Lenz app was the perfect solution to make Deutsche Telekom relevant to millions of European youngsters via their smartphones.

The Implementation

We turned a colour into a media channel

The Lenz transformed everything and anything magenta into an owned media channel. When people pointed the app against anything magenta, they saw Gorillaz augmented-reality content, sometimes prolonged by local product

For example, people wearing magenta socks could see Gorillaz videos playing on their socks. Magenta letters on a poster became portraits of Gorillaz’ band members.

This was a new dimension of entertainment: overlaying Gorillaz content through existing touchpoints. With The Lenz and a dab of magenta, we turned 12 countries into a stage for Gorillaz to enter the real world and reinforced the
power of our brand.

To drive downloads of The Lenz, we needed the app to become famous. We launched in a big way —OOH stunts (e.g. magenta grass in front of Tower Bridge in London), the world’s first live interview of the virtual band and a
unique partnership with more than 500 micro-influencers, all supported with a heavy PR-media push.

Across mobile, we launched an interactive advert that mimicked a phone call. People could receive a call from Murdoc – a Gorillaz character – who invited them to download the Lenz.

Then we delivered our message across digital, OOH and print in all markets – a fully integrated campaign, with just a dab of magenta.

Telekom’s Electronic Beats and Gorillaz content became one, providing our target audience a portal where they could access, engage and share exclusive content via their social channels.

The Result

Our objective of engaging with a Millennial target audience was reached in just two weeks by capturing 14 million impressions, 2,700+ social mentions and, over 1Mio organic video views for both the teaser video “The Lenz featuring
Gorillaz” and our live virtual interview “In conversation with 2D and Murdoc from Gorillaz”.

The Lenz app is already on more than 130,000 phones across Europe and content shared at a 42% rate, which is above the 40% benchmark for sharing visual content on SM among Millennials. Also, more than 26% of installed
apps are abandoned after the first use but our target group opened the app (on average) nearly 3 times.

To date we have generated over 419 million impressions bringing the campaign CPM below 2,5€.

But more importantly we were present on everything from socks to iconic buildings, hijacking magenta wherever it was found.

We created millions of magenta portals to our media channel. Our youth audience could access this channel everywhere, at home or outside.

A hard to reach target started engaging with Deutsche Telekom in a unique way. Even ads from other brands who’ve had the audacity to use magenta became part of the Deutsche Telekom experience.

Overall, The Lenz gained a total earned media reach of €20m, being featured in Pitchfork, BBC, Rolling Stone and many more.