Memes and modern culture inspire Nadia Marquard Otzen's branded music video for telco brand Telenet
20 years ago, Bomfunk MCs promo for 'Freestyler', featuring a teenage boy controlling his environment with a minidisc player, became iconic and hit #1 in European music charts.
As a lot has changed since then - in music, technology and culture alike - so TBWA\Belgium enlisted Grammy-nominnated Danish director Nadia Marquard Otzen to give it the update it deserves. The film serves as a branded film for Belgian telco brand Telenet.
“An update of Freestyler to the year 2019 is the perfect way to showcase our new smartphone-based product YUGO," says Nathalie Rahbani, director Brand, Media & Communications at Telenet. "20 years ago you could only pause or rewind your favorite song and that was it. Now you can do anything you want - literally freestyle from the season finale of Game of Thrones to YouTube silliness."
From breakdancing to bomber jackets, the original music video was full of references to late '90s pop culture. But culture has also changed a lot in 20 years. The film still follows a young teenager travelling through the subway, but this time it’s a girl and she’s controlling the world with her smartphone, instead of a minidisc player.
Freestyler 2019 is also filled with 2019 internet easter eggs: Game of Thrones, The Sopranos, Westworld, The Walking Dead, Beyoncé, The Fat Jewish, twerking, the Fortnite Hype Dance.
One thing didn't change though. Original band members B.O. Dubb and DJ Gismo pop up in the same iconic shots as in the original version. The band is also marking its come back after 20 years with a tour through Europe starting from this summer.