- Financial technology company Klarna is partnering with musician A$AP Rocky to encourage consumers to refresh their look as the world begins to emerge from pandemic lockdowns, according to a press release. The global campaign launched on June 8 and will run through July on social media, online and out-of-home (OOH) platforms.
- The musician, who is a Klarna shareholder and assumed the role of CEO for a day on June 1, will appear in social content and a 45-second video featuring a clip of his new song set to be released this summer. The spot, centered around the tagline “Drop your lockdown look. Get smooth again,” shows A$AP Rocky emerging from his own lockdown in New York and upgrading his robe to a suit.
- In a move to drive app downloads, Klarna is hosting a competition on June 18 in which fans can share their updated wardrobe looks for a chance to win pieces from a vintage clothing collection curated by A$AP Rocky.
With consumers emerging from their homes amid mass vaccinations and declining COVID-19 caseloads, Klarna is among the brands and retailers ramping up their marketing to help people upgrade their wardrobes and guide them out of “fashion hibernation,” Klarna CMO David Sandström said in the release.
“Following a challenging year, the world is beginning to re-emerge, and we believe now is the right time to really celebrate the joy of style and fashion,” he said.
The new campaign looks to support growth momentum of buy now, pay later (BNPL) platforms that have surged in interest during the pandemic. New users to BNPL apps swelled 115% year-over-year, and monthly active users climbed 186%, Sensor Tower found. In 2020, Klarna gained more than double its total number of users from the year prior to reach 15 million.
As major economic changes from the depths of the pandemic continue to play out this year, some signs suggest a spending revival. Discretionary spending is beginning to recover, with a McKinsey report noting that apparel stores are seeing year-on-year losses decrease. At the same time, more than half of U.S. consumers plan to splurge on themselves as pre-pandemic activities continue to return. Klarna’s own research cited in the release found that 63% of consumers globally plan to dress up more frequently than before the health crisis, suggesting that people will be itching to update their closets.
To capture this pent-up excitement around shopping, Klarna is tapping a popular figure in the music world, hoping to capitalize on buzz around A$AP Rocky’s impending album release. The musician earlier this month served as Klarna CEO for a day to help people rediscover fashion after more than a year of being mostly homebound.
His wardrobe transformation in the new video ad aims to depict the ease at which Klarna’s shopping app lets users browse products and set up payment installments. The clip closes with a reference to Klarna’s ongoing “smooth” tagline that has become integral to its marketing. Last year, the company ran its biggest U.S. campaign to date with outlandish ads set around the creative concept of “Swedish for Smooother Shopping.”