Any shot-for-shot remake requires patience, commitment to detail and a respect for the original content. With this understanding, Universal Pictures joined forces with content studio Portal A to create a gently modernized homage to an iconic ABBA music video, just in time for the July 20 theatrical release of Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again.
The creative team-up tapped two of YouTube’s popular creative pairs—The Merrell Twins and musical duo Superfruit—to recreate Abba’s 1975 music video for “Mamma Mia.” Aside from a few bolder fashion choices, some updated instruments and some slightly smoother dance moves, the remake maintains the simple, clean imagery and many of the charmingly awkward movements of the original. The video was released on The Merrell Twins’ YouTube platform over the weekend to their 3.4 million subscribers and has, as of today, been viewed about 600,000 times.
Here’s the homage video, followed by the original:
With a combined reach of 8 million fans—a number that rivals TV audiences—The Merrell Twins and Superfruit are understandable choices to help bring the music of Abba to a new, younger demographic.
“This campaign brings together so many fun elements,” says Zach Blume, co-founder and managing partner
at Portal A, “from the classic look and sound of Abba, to an endearing film franchise like Mamma Mia, to the talent and energy the Merrell Twins and Superfruit brought to the production. We’ve been describing this project as ‘retro-fabulous.'”
Portal A certainly isn’t new to such collaborations that create branded content outside the usual paid media formats. The studio has been called upon by brands like Clorox, Google, HBO, and others to create appealing internet moments featuring major YouTube stars. Prior to the new Mamma Mia project, Universal and Portal A partnered to promote Pitch Perfect 3 late last year with a viral music medley starring performer Toddrick Hall, which drew more than 1 million views on YouTube.
Featured Creators: The Merrell Twins and Superfruit
Executive Producers: Zach Blume and Nate Houghteling
Creative Director: Kai Hasson
Project Director: Emma White
Project Manager: Grace Emery
Head of Creative: Erin Schmalfeld
Creative Lead: Sam Jackson
Talent Director: Brittani Kagan
Talent Producers: Kelly Egan and Ellie Loarca
Video Director: Tim Nackashi
Supervising Producer: Elyse Preiss
Lead Producer: Kady Kamakaté
Head of Post Production: Arturo Morales
Lead Editor: Sean U’Ren
Assistant Editor: Bee Rhodes
Strategy Director: Matthew Ward
Strategy Lead: Chin Lu
Design Lead: Tess Hannel