Billie Eilish promotes phone-positivity in new ad (but we're not convinced)

Billie Eilish ad
(Image credit: Deutsche Telekom)

Most of us have probably worried at some point that we spend a little too much time on our phones, especially during lockdown. But one if there's one group that's known for its supposed screen addiction, it's the so-called Gen Z. Now, mobile company Deutsche Telekom has enlisted the voice of Gen Z, Billie Eilish, to try to bust the stereotype.

"Look at us," Eilish's monologue begins in the ad (below), titled What We Do Next. "Just a bunch of kids who are screen-obsessed. Disconnected. Not in the moment." Accompanying the speech is a series of shots of activists, artists, photographers and more using their phones for creativity and to advocate social change. 

The ad closes with Eilish imploring other young people, "maybe next time they see us staring at a screen, and they ask us what we’re doing on it, why don’t we show them what we’re doing with it?" along with the tagline: 'We're here for this generation, and what they do next'.

On a technical level, the ad itself is certainly slick – the glossy shots of young people using their phones for good are perfectly paired with Eilish’s hit song When The Party’s Over. It’s also refreshing to see such a tech-positive ad. We’re no strangers to the creative power of tech such as the best camera phones and best tablets, and as well as creativity, the ad highlights the importance of tech in activism, such as the Black Lives matter movement (here’s how creatives have been supporting Black Lives Matter).

BIllie EIlish ad

The ad shows a phone being used for an ethical photoshoot (Image credit: Deutsche Telekom )

But we can’t help but wonder if, by using such an iconic figure of Gen Z to head up the ad, it ends up preaching to the converted. Surely it’s older folk who need the stereotype of teenagers-glued-to-their-phones busting? While we’re not saying Deutsche Telekom should have hired Cliff Richard to narrate it, the ad’s Instagram filter-laden imagery and Billie Eilish song/monologue probably won’t help it to break through the Gen Z bubble. And for the more cynical among us, it’s hard not to raise an eyebrow at phone-positive ad from a huge phone company. 

Still, if it empowers more young people to use phones and technology for productive and creative ends, that can only be a good thing. Speaking of which, if you’re looking for a new phone to help you unleash your creativity, there’s no better place to start than the iPhone 11 Pro – check out today’s best iPhone 11 deals below. Can't find the right offer for you? Check out our full list of the best iPhone 11 deals available now. 

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Daniel John
Senior News Editor

Daniel John is Senior News Editor at Creative Bloq. He reports on the worlds of art, design, branding and lifestyle tech (which often translates to tech made by Apple). He joined in 2020 after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more.