Europe’s most valuable telco brand Deutsche Telekom has launched ‘Summer of Joy, Youth, Freedom’, the latest instalment in a multi-year programme of Gen Z-focused campaigns with creative partners Saatchi & Saatchi.
Launching against a backdrop of unprecedented economic, environmental, and societal pressures on young people, the campaign continues the brands sustained commitment to support and connect the younger generation. Acknowledging that modern life is stopping Gen Z having the joyful, fun and carefree experiences traditionally granted to young people, ‘Summer of Joy, Youth, Freedom’ is a digitally-led campaign designed to connect Gen Z with the lifeblood of youth culture – real world music experiences – and will run across the brand’s core European markets this summer.
The socially-focused campaign has been consciously created by Gen Z creators for Gen Z consumers. Inspired by the quote “I am youth, I am joy, I am freedom” from James M Barrie’s Peter Pan novels, the work reimagines the classic story of youth for a whole new generation.
The hero, music-video style campaign film starts with four young people – Peter, Wendy, John and Michael – going about their daily lives, at work and caring for relatives. Highlighting the connection Deutsche Telekom offers, a message then pops up on a phone – ‘NVR tonight?’ – before our protagonists head out to a hidden, Neverland style party in the woods, which carries on late into the night. At the end of the film, we see Wendy wake up – still in her party glitter – and reach for her phone, while a closing message reminds us, “you can’t grow up if you’ve never been young.”
‘Summer of Joy, Youth, Freedom’ sees Deutsche Telekom collaborate with GRAMMY-nominated music producer and DJ Jayda G, who features in the NVR party scenes in the film, and directing duo BRTHR, who have worked with artists such as THE WEEKND, PinkPantheress and CHARLI XCX. The film has also been supplemented with extensive social media content including snippets and bespoke behind the scenes content, with the brand working with young creators to craft authentic, tailored assets for TikTok, Instagram, Spotify, Twitch and Snapchat.
As part of the integrated campaign, ‘Summer of Joy, Youth, Freedom’ is also offering young people thousands of free music experiences across Europe. These include access to a range of exclusive small-crowd gigs and pop-up events created by Telekom Electronic Beats, Deutsche Telekom’s award-winning international music marketing program as well as the chance to win tickets to some of Europe’s best festivals including Paradies Garten, Colours of Ostrava and Electric Castle.
Ulrich Klenke, chief brand officer, Deutsche Telekom, adds “As young people continue to face unprecedented pressures, preserving their universal right to be young should be a priority. Deutsche Telekom is committed to showing our support for the younger generation, providing them with exceptional cultural moments through which to experience the real joy of youth.”
Franki Goodwin, CCO, Saatchi & Saatchi says, “Our work with Gen-Z and Deutsche Telekom is four years in the making now, and this year we knew what young people need more than anything right now is an opportunity to be young. Flipping the Peter Pan parable for this generation was the perfect narrative twist to inspire and help to launch our Joy Youth Freedom platform, based on the iconic J M Barrie quote. It’s impulsive, carefree and escapist, and that’s exactly what we wanted to achieve in our modern retelling. By using Gen Z creators and making a platform bespoke campaign we think we’ve set ourselves up for an amazing summer.”
Jayda G., music producer, DJ and ‘Summer of Joy, Youth, Freedom’ collaborator, comments “Music was my lifeline growing up. To protect youth culture, ensuring access to real world music experiences is so important. And to play a part, alongside Deutsche Telekom, in providing an escape from the pressures on the youth of today, is such a joy.”