Buy now, pay later apps entered 2020 growing in popularity as the field becomes increasingly crowded. Klarna, one of Europe’s leaders, planned to jump into the US market with a major integrated launch campaign. Klarna’s European customers highly rank its superior bundle of features, but Klarna was starting in the US with zero brand recognition. And Klarna faced the default of advertising skepticism among Millennial and Gen Z shoppers.
The pandemic changed everything: disrupting retail behaviors, driving an enormous surge in online shopping, reordering entertainment and media consumption. Klarna revised its June launch campaign by emphasizing digital activation within an integrated advertising/marketing campaign led by disruptively quirky videos meant to build awareness with their “Modern Shopper” target. A supporting social campaign was intended to extend these efforts and pull users further into the Klarna fold using social-first creative and influencer partnerships.
Social listening identified consumer confusion and misunderstanding of what exactly was Klarna, and whether its features were relevant and useful. This complicated product needed trusted guides to explain, demonstrate, and build informed consideration. Younger shoppers have become highly skeptical of typical influencer campaigns, which are often seen as commercially templated, preachy, inauthentic, and played out. Klarna’s partnership with carefully targeted influencers elevated these trusted voices to amplify Klarna’s message. Our goal: make these stars true creative partners and break the mold of traditional influencer content to create something irreverent, honest and bold.
Klarna was an unfamiliar and more complex product that combined credit, shopping, price comparisons, payment options, and wish list curation. Consumers were confused and unsure of its utility. To meet the need for greater understanding and better informed consideration, Klarna needed new original content beyond the national awareness campaign. We went beyond the initial brief – pitched and created an episodic edutainment series “What’s The Catch? This unleashed four influencers in a creative partnership that brought their true personalities, wit, and charm to this original content series.
Four influencers, each with their own unique scripts, sets and strategic Reasons to Believe messages were heavily supported by active community management. This four part message/messenger trial leveraged rigorous use of our content management model “finding right through real time trials” (conceive/test/iterate/expand on success). Several different creative approaches were conceived as likely to motivate consideration, then these were tested through social engagement and response tracking. Messages were refined and the most engaging amplified for new creative.
“What’s the Catch?” quickly became Klarna’s most engaged content, far outperforming the social engagement from the national campaign, which had 80X more initial media impressions. A breakout influencer emerged during these trials. Community management identified and elevated his most impactful content and curated greater engagement. Active moderation successfully extended this influencer’s voice. A bigger opportunity for Klarna was identified.
Given the success of “What’s the Catch?” summer content series, a social-led, much larger storytelling campaign extended this concept to a major Klarna holiday campaign. These summer trials proved that building brand trust through entertaining explainers created significantly greater engagement and active consideration.
“Whats the Catch: A Holiday Tale” was born, a new series of Klarna edutainment content that pushed creativity and collaboration to smooother heights. This holiday campaign scaled up on insights that drove the “What’s The Catch?” series to overperform, partnered with the most successful influencer paired with the high quality scripting and design elements, and expanded into promotable 60s and 15s clips. Klarna also redirected spending to a significantly larger production budget, and added a supporting media buy across digital and streaming platforms.
“What’s the Catch?” earned overwhelmingly positive comments, as well as superior metrics (Impressions, Views, View Rate, New Followers, Engagement Rate, Reach, CPM, CPV). Fans rushed to the comment sections to profess love for both the stars of the campaign and the spots themselves. Lines were quoted, fans asked about the Klarna app, and many took the time to announce they had officially been converted to Klarna users.
“A Holiday Tale” produced four full stories (yielding +100 assets). These stories translated to the top 4 posts on Klarna social channels for the entire year, surpassing all other content created by agency partners.
Social became the lead holiday marketing partner: Making a larger commitment to a single influencer, combined with longer lead times made it possible to scale up the production values, creating content with greater visual punch and a stronger brand message that stopped the scroll on social feeds. Long lead planning allowed bundling more than 100 video pieces into one extended shoot for great efficiencies. Gaining a large variety of assets sustained the social campaign over several weeks without diminishing engagement.
A winning brand voice for Klarna’s social feeds. Community management continued to be a key component in the success of “A Holiday Tale”. These trusted social relationships create opportunities for expanded brand conversations using a carefully crafted and honed brand tone of voice. Leveraging trust, community managers were able to turn even initial negative commentators into app downloaders, giving audiences more reasons to engage with Klarna.
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