The shopping service Klarna, Europe’s leading fintech brand, knew that it had to go off the beaten track when launching to the US consumers. It just couldn’t afford following the bank category norm or being bland or boring. Ever.
Describe the strategy
In a society where business owners reserve the right to refuse service to anyone, Klarna proudly reserves the right to grant it. In any store, anywhere. You do you. We don’t judge. Shop like a Queen.
Cue the queens. The American drag queen culture, centered around RuPaul’s Drag Race, is an explosive pop cultural movement where shopping and consumption hold a pivotal role and is celebrated rather than shunned. Perfect for Klarna, isn’t it? Also, Klarna’s distinct tonality and looks synced seamlessly with the drag queen expression, sharing a colorful and quirky playfulness. Our target audience was young, loved shopping and progressive - an exact match to the drag queen pop cultural context.
Describe the execution
The campaign was built around five key figures from the RuPaul universe. Aquaria, Asia O’Hara, Kim Chi, Naomi Smalls and Violet Chachki. It was built around joy, creativity and playfulness and visually we used a “backstage theme”, a romantic glimpse into the queens’ world behind the scenes. In the first stage of the campaign, a month long, the five and our other collaborating queens used the Klarna app to create their own outfits, a central theme of the RuPaul Drag Race mechanics, demonstrating the app’s features and benefits. Pay in four, price drop notifications, wish lists, easy returns et c. A process that peaked in New York during World Pride where they revealed their creations on stage, sparking the second phase of the campaign – now more focused on paid ad space - with photos and films featuring the queens flaunting their creations in a dramatized backstage world.
List the results
In the end, Klarna became more than a mere bank with a commercial message, it became a current topic, a meme, a pop cultural phenomenon extensively praised from both within and outside the drag community. / >387k impressions / <0,01$ CPI / >573k app downloads / >100k active users / +8% brand awareness / +8% consideration / +7% purchase intent / +487% organic search / * All metrics reflect the 60 days campaign’s performance in the US, not the overall Klarna market performance.