Swedish fintech firm Klarna is making its Super Bowl debut to stand out from rivals like Affirm and PayPal


Klarna Super Bowl

Summary List Placement

Swedish online payments firm Klarna is the latest advertiser making its debut on Super Bowl Sunday this weekend. 

The fintech startup, valued at $10.65 billion, will run a 30-second ad in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl. The ad by Los Angeles-based agency Mirimar features actress and comedian Maya Rudolph playing different cowboys and aims to illustrate how easy it is to shop and pay for what you want with Klarna. 

The move comes as the company seeks to ride the momentum of its rapid growth in the US over the past year as online shopping has accelerated due to the pandemic. Klarna also wants to differentiate itself from competitors in a fast-growing sector, CMO David Sandström told Insider.

“We’re witnessing one of the biggest consumer behavior changes within finance in decades — where people first moved from gold to cash, then from cash to credit cards, and are now moving  from credit cards to services like Klarna,” he said. “It’s the perfect opportunity for us to celebrate that momentum, and put our brand on one of the biggest stages in the world.”

Klarna is among fintech firms including Afterpay, Affirm and payments giant PayPal pioneering the “buy now, pay later” model offering interest-free financing on purchases over installments. These companies have pitched themselves as a simpler and safer way to shop online but are coming under regulatory scrutiny as people realize the consequences of missed payments.

Despite its hefty price tag of $5.5 million, a Super Bowl ad was the obvious next step for Klarna, following its first major TV campaign in the US in July 2020, said Sandström. A 2019 campaign called “Shop Like a Queen” had contestants from the popular drag TV show “RuPaul’s Drag Race” create their looks with products available through Klarna.

“The financial industry is the most distrusted industry in the world, and all the companies look the same and behave in the same way,” he said. “We’re trying to build a brand for a new generation of online shoppers, and we do that with much more energy, fun and entertainment, keeping the consumer experience at heart.”

In the past year, Klarna has launched a loyalty program, added 6,000 retail partners, and grown to 15 million users in the US, according to the company. It’s also upped its overall ad spending 10x in the country versus two years ago to grow its market share and plans to invest in educational campaigns that promote financial literacy, he said.  

Klarna joins other first-time Super Bowl advertisers like food delivery companies DoorDash and Uber Eats, and freelancer marketplace Fiverr as longtime Super Bowl advertisers like Pepsi, Coca-Cola and Budweiser cut back their presence this year.

“It almost feels like a symbolic change of guard with a lot of old legacy advertisers dropping off, and new, optimistic future brands entering the fray,” said Sandström.

Watch the spot below:


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