Klarna and A$AP Rocky say goodbye to ‘lockdown looks’ in global push
Klarna is following its Super Bowl spot with a new creative campaign fronted by A$AP Rocky. The Swedish payments brand, which is quickly building awareness in the U.S. market with high-profile campaigns and retail partnerships, is debuting a global push “Get smoooth again” this week.
Klarna is one of a host of newcomers hoping to train consumers to embrace the “buy now, pay later” method of shopping, which offers the option of spacing payments for goods out over time rather than paying everything upfront.
The new work includes a 45-second spot that shows A$AP Rocky coming out of pandemic hibernation wearing a bathrobe as he sources new snacks. The Harlem-based rapper eventually upgrades his lockdown look to something much more sartorially savvy. The commercial also features a cameo from Skepta, a British artist.
The impetus for the new clothing-focused campaign came from a recent survey Klarna conducted that found that 60% of global consumers are waiting for the end of COVID-19 to update their wardrobe.
Indeed, loungewear, comfort-infused items such as Crocs clogs, sweatpants and leggings have all seen sales soar last year as the lockdown clothing items of choice. Retail experts now expect fashion to be a top category as consumers look ahead to summer. A recent report from Criteo found that online sales for fashion and luxury goods were up 23% in the U.S. in April compared to the year-earlier period; the category includes a rise in summer clothing and formalwear.
Klarna worked with Swedish creative agency Nord DDB on the new campaign; the film was produced by Caviar.
"I think most of us can relate to the fact that we adopted a bit of a different style during this period, the world lost a bit of its sense of style and swagger and that we are now more than ready step it up again,” said Andreas Dahlqvist, CEO and chief creative officer at Nord DDB, in a statement.
Klarna's high-profile Super Bowl spot, which featured Maya Rudolph, was created with Mirimar. The push, running through July, will include social media and out-of-home marketing, as well as exclusive content on Klarna’s shopping app around upcycling and vintage that was selected by A$AP Rocky. The film features some items the rapper designed with his own creative agency AWGE.
“As a brand and service, Klarna wants to evoke feelings,” said David Sandström, chief marketing officer of the brand, in a statement. He noted that A$AP Rocky was a great partner to help “lead us all out of fashion hibernation.”
Klarna is not the only new payments brand boosting its awareness with big marketing investments. Last month, competitor Afterpay, which is based in Australia but has been ramping up its U.S. presence, debuted its biggest push yet with a marketing campaign starring Rebel Wilson. The ad explains in sometimes funny terms the buy now, pay later concept and why it might be appealing to traditional credit card-adverse shoppers. At the same time, established brands such as PayPal and American Express are also diversifying their payment options with the inclusion of pay later products.
Last year, the buy now, pay later category generated $20 billion to $25 billion in purchases, according to data from CB Insights. The market research firm expects the industry to grow as much as 15 times by 2025 and eventually exceed $1 trillion in annual gross merchandise volume.