Winner 2023

Technology & Telecoms


Deutsche Telekom AG

Entered by:

Mindshare GmbH

#WhatWeValue: Embracing Volunteerism With Gen Z


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

The Challenge

As telecommunication services become more competitive, Deutsche Telekom’s most imminent challenge as a brand is to stay relevant and top-of-mind among in-market audience. Among all age groups, Gen Z (A16-26) has been identified as a strategic stronghold for maintaining Telekom’s relevancy and edge. Not only do the digital natives represent a large consumer base, but they have also ushered in the generational shifts that are transforming consumer behaviors, creating strong impacts across all demographics.

Given Gen Z’s ever-increasing market influence, it is vital for Telekom to build a strong and lasting relationship with them. While it is comparably easy to find Gen Z in media due to their universal usage of all things digital, they are also increasingly difficult to convince. To inspire Gen Z’s loyalty for the brand, we must find ways to deliver tangible values in a most pragmatic way possible.

Research conducted by Telekom shows that 82 percent of Gen Z globally are actively involved in advocacy and activism. Meanwhile, they represent a group of avid initiators of social dialogues intended to resolve conflicts and propel changes.

In awe of this socially conscious and action orientated generation, Telekom is determined to support youth volunteerism. Having celebrated Gen Z talents in our 2020 campaign #WhatWeDoNext and assisted them in developing career aspirations via the 2021 project #WeAreFutureproof, our latest effort would again live up to the promise “We are here for this generation, and what they do next.” Insomuch as their volunteer efforts influence and contribute to our society, we will also go beyond the focus on this cohort and strive to make the world a better place.

The Content Solution

What We Value is Telekom’s latest initiative to engage Gen Z, the first digital natives whose identity strongly anchors in the connected technology we proudly offer. Through embracing Gen Z Volunteerism, Telekom seeks to foster a stronger bond with this target group and secure its position as the main provider of choice.

Deutsche Telekom sets out to support Gen Z volunteerism.

Telekom recognizes Gen Z’s efforts in actively addressing environmental and social issues. As a leading provider of the connected technology which gave birth to many of today’s social movements, we seek to infuse youth volunteerism with the same digital optimism that lies at the core of our brand.

Designed with Gen Z to accelerate the causes that are their main concerns, the free-to-access What We Value platform empowers those who already volunteer by helping them advance their projects.
Socially committed Gen Z communities can connect, learn from experienced action leaders, amplify their own volunteering projects, and discover new opportunities. Meanwhile, those projects would serve as prompts to encourage Gen Z at large to improve the world by engaging in inspiring projects. Those projects are categorized into the following 6 causes: Migration, Mental Wellbeing, Education, Environment, Animal Welfare and Equality.

We would introduce Value NFT, positioned as the socially most valuable NFT to be issued to young volunteers who upload a project to the platform. Owning the Value NFT unlocks ‘money-can’t-buy’ opportunities such as live events that would further one’s project. At the end of each month, the top 2 projects with the highest number of likes would unlock further Telekom support (up to a one-off value of €35,000) to boost the project’s real-world impact.

By joining Gen Z on a journey to identify and tackle issues that are most relevant for our society, we would demonstrate how Telekom is committed to acting responsibly and using its resources to combat today’s environmental and social challenges.

Our goal is to encourage traffic to Telekom’s owned What We Value platform via paid media, and to convince others through earned media to participate in the various volunteering projects being promoted on the platform.

The Media/Content Amplification Solution

Our media strategy adopts Gen Z’s media habits to drive awareness for the campaign and encourage active engagements with volunteering projects on the platform. Launched in two phases, What We Value featured a range of Gen-Z-focused channels including Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter, TikTok, Spotify, Twitch, Vice, and Discord.

  • Phase 1 – Call for projects (from 16.06.2022):
    We collaborated with Vice and created branded content which announced the project and explained the campaign mechanism. Targeting socially committed Gen Z communities, the communication for Phase 1 sought to create platform awareness and encourage project uploads.
  • Phase 2 – Campaign launch (07.07.2022 – 31.08.2022):
    Distinguished between awareness and engagement measures, the campaign was launched in two layers to amass impressions and inspire Gen Z at large to access the platform and interact with existing projects.
  • For awareness, a clear focus was put on generating video completions. Our campaign short film reimagines the value of NFT and transforms it into a social currency with tangible values. The montage of different volunteering projects across Europe showcases the diversity and the immense potential of the campaign.
  • For engagement, optimization switched from video views to link clicks. We launched a Snap lens and partnered with relevant market influencers to create tailored content for social platforms. Meanwhile, we also hosted a series of inspiring talks on Discord which were then used to create podcasts that further supported our initiative. These measures were designed to drive the target audience to discover potential causes they can relate to and start participating in volunteering projects.

In the end, Phase 1 successfully encouraged project uploads, providing a fertile setting for the campaign launch. Meanwhile, the awareness and engagement measures that followed in Phase 2 effectively drove traffic to the platform and motivated the audience to explore the volunteering project of their choice.

The Result

As a branding campaign, #WhatWeValue performed exceptionally well in relation to our media objectives, contributing to impressive uplifts of the Telekom’s brand perception among Gen Z within the upper marketing funnel:

  • Brand fit shift: 15%+ (150%+ against target)

Kantar results proved that the success went far beyond industry standards:

  • Ad awareness: 30%+ (vs. 5,5% benchmark*)
  • Brand favourability: 29% (vs. 1,8% BM)
  • Brand consideration: 23% (vs. 1,2% BM)
  • Message association: 15% (vs. 2,0% BM)

Meanwhile, What We Value platform inspired high engagement among Gen Z:

  • Total visits: 1,9M
  • Unique visitors: 1,6M
  • Bounce rate: 19,08%
  • Projects submitted: 165; Project accepted and published: 108
  • Project supported (Boost / Share / Like action): 174K

In terms of media effects, contextual link to Gen Z’s needs and actions yielded great success:

  • 950M impressions
  • 109,7M completed video views, 13,2% VTR
  • 94%+ target group penetration (vs 50% BM)
  • Avg. 8,2 contacts
  • 82+ pieces of editorial coverage
  • Social Listening: 92,1% positive or neutral mentions

The campaign capitalized on Gen Z’s natural media usage and effectively drove users to the What We Value platform via paid & earned media. Each of the 108 published projects reflects the grit, resilience, and persistence displayed by Gen Z; meanwhile, those projects also represent the unique opportunities for Telekom to accompany the young generation as they strive to make the world a better place. Ultimately, the campaign not only helped Telekom strengthen its relationship with Gen Z, but also generated immeasurable environmental and social impact that will resonate well beyond the campaign.