Shortlisted 2022

Technology & Telecoms


Deutsche Telekom

Entered by:

Mindshare GmbH


emetriq GmbH, Pulse Advertising GmbH, Publicis Sapient, Saatchi & Saatchi London, Proud Robinson & Partners

Project Futureproof: From GenZ For GenZ

The Challenge

As telecommunication services become more competitive, it is vital for Telekom to continuously stay relevant and top-of-mind. Among all age groups, GenZ (A16-29) has been identified as a strategic stronghold for maintaining Telekom’s relevancy and edge. Not only are they the most connected audience, but they are also Tech innovators and first-comers brimming with originality and creativity.

While it is comparably easy to find GenZ in media due to their universal usage of all things digital, they are also increasingly difficult to convince. Before we can secure the young generation as loyal customers and retain their cutting-edge nature within our customer base, we must take on the challenge to establish a meaningful connection with them. We plan to do so by delivering tangible values in a most pragmatic way possible.

Our business objective is to strengthen Telekom’s relationship with GenZ and inspire their loyalty as customers; the marketing objective, to be realized through our immediate campaigns, is to increase brand favorability and consideration within this specific segment and position Telekom as a provider of choice. We aim to reach both objectives by consistently investing in branding activities to boost Telekom’s standing in the upper marketing funnel.

The Content Solution

As a continuation of the effort and promise we made in the 2020 brand campaign: “We’re here for this generation and what they do next,” Telekom continues to explore issues that are most relevant for the younger generation.

Career uncertainty is one such issue. Research from Deutsche Telekom shows 61 percent of European GenZ are anxious about their future job and career prospects. 54 percent are unsure what careers will exist in the future, with 43 percent saying they are unsure if they have the qualities they need to succeed. The arrival of COVID-19 only exacerbated the issue. The class of 2020 was put on hold right before venturing into a world of work.

Telekom understands how vital technology is in the lives of youngsters and its potential positive contribution to a better quality of life in the future for all. Adhering to this positive outlook, our ambition was to provide GenZ with tangible values in the form of tech solutions and utilities, reassuring them that if they have a passion, they will be #futureproof both in their careers and in general, no matter what twists and turns the future holds.

“If you have a passion, you have a future”

Telekom created Project Futureproof, a tangible tech-based utility designed to offer support and guidance – from GenZ for GenZ.

What underlies the project is the digital-led optimism hinting at the career opportunities that will naturally evolve from this generation’s current passions. From inception to implementation, this project stays true to Telekom’s commitment to GenZ, because “We are here for this generation.”

At the heart of this project is a free-to-access Web App/ Online Hub that serves to inspire and support the younger generation in a personalized way:

  • Web App: Unlike existing services, the Web App takes a uniquely Gen Z perspective, identifying key trends & changes in the world of work, delivering insights through a personalized, gamified experience.
  • Online Hub: Alongside the tool, the online Hub features helpful resources where Deutsche Telekom experts share insights on how to write CVs, prepare for job interviews and improve your social media profile.

Utilizing connected technology, the entire Project Futureproof is developed in collaboration with both Gen Z contributors and a diverse group of professional skills and employability experts. It aims to connect users to peer-to-peer inspiration and support.

The Media/Content Amplification Solution

Launched in two campaign phases, Project Futureproof was featured across a range of Gen-Z-focused channels, including Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat and TikTok. The two phases were strategically sequenced to create a consistent story flow using a broad range of ad formats and platforms:

Phase I – Awareness: Generating video views to bring the message across

The optimistic short film created for this purpose invited young people to choose utopia over dystopia, and to further envision an ideal future, where their passions are brought to fruition. Set in 2021, a series of sci-fi glitches offers a group of GenZ a vision into the future, showing a glimpse into how they (and the world around them) have been changed by following their passions. Backed by a version of Billie Eilish’s ‘My Future’, the superstar also cameos in the future world. The series of vignettes of the future harness a spirit of hope and possibility with a playful, but contemporary, nod to sci-fi.

The campaign kicked off with a one-week impression focus across Europe, followed by 6 weeks of video delivery optimized on target group penetration within GenZ. Billie Eilish amplified the launch even further on social media together with a host of GenZ influencers. The combination of maximum reach and completed video views across all relevant Social Channels allowed us to gather an impressive number of awareness within the target audience and provided a large user base that could be used for retargeting purposes in Phase 2.

Phase II – Engagement: Giving further contexts to increase link clicks and participations

The second phase built on the momentum of Phase 1 but shifted the goal towards giving further context and encouraging engagement with the Web App. To do so, both Social Media and Programmatic were optimized towards link clicks and driving qualified traffic to the App. Meanwhile, we further promoted the Web App/ Online Hub by launching a Snap lens and partnered with TikTok creators to showcase how different passions can translate into career opportunities.

Beyond the tool and campaign, Telekom also created real world spaces and opportunities such as internship programs, online classes, one-on-one career advice with recruiters, and talent managers that further engaged the audience.

The Result

As a branding campaign, Project Futureproof performed exceptionally well in relation to our media objectives, contributing to impressive uplifts of the Telekom’s brand perception among GenZ within the upper marketing funnel. Brand fit shift saw an impressive increase up to 34% across markets (150%+ against target). Meanwhile, Kantar results proved that the success went far beyond industry standards:

  • Ad awareness: 21,3%+ (vs. 5,5% average industry standard)
  • Brand favorability:15,8% (vs. 1,8)
  • Brand Consideration: 14,5 (vs. 1,2%)

Project Futureproof was well-received by GenZ and gathered positive social responses. Social listening recorded over 40% positive mentions and no negative mentions. YouTube comments indicated that the younger audience responded positively to the topic: “Manifesting this future! This generation is amazing!!” In addition, Telekom was applauded for taking up this issue and allow GenZ to “[D]ream about this [positive future].”

In terms of engagement, the Web App/ Online hub proved to be decisive drivers that contributed to the impressive high engagement among GenZ, with the results far exceeded expectations:

  • 1,6m visits
  • 200k+ profiles created
  • Visitor Rate 19,52%
  • 5+ mins avg. time spent
  • Test completion rate: 69% (vs 30% planned)

The impressive long dwell time (5+ mins) spent within the app allowed the target audience to experience quality time with the brand. Test completion rate was especially outstanding as it reached more than 200% of the campaign benchmark.

In terms of media effects, contextual link to GenZ’s needs and actions through credible media proved to be a real success, as proved by the results among other KPIs:

  • 99M Video Views, 21,6% 100% VTR
  • 924M impressions
  • 559M+ earned reach
  • 85%+ TA penetration (vs 50% benchmark)
  • Avg. 6,07 contacts
  • 3,6 times higher mention rate of the Telekom brand
  • 267+ pieces of editorial coverage