Award Winning

Best Consumer 2021: Why Pay Interest?

Agency: Puzzle
Client: Klarna
Award: Best Consumer


Klarna makes the shopping experience as simple, safe, and smooth as possible. 

Being in the financial services sector naturally brings detractors and confusion about products, services and fees. It’s also not traditionally the most interesting sector. But being a fintech disruptor brand, Klarna actually is interesting. Very interesting. 

Working closely with the Klarna team, we were briefed to devise and launch a bold, multi-channel campaign that would: 

  • Stand Klarna apart from traditional banking. We do things differently with our products and for our customers – so we do things differently with our marketing 
  • Increase awareness; this was tri-fold. Awareness overall, awareness with key audiences and awareness ahead of competitors 
  • Counteract myths, dispel confusion and silence critics. Klarna’s pay later products are interest and fee free and allow you to snooze payments, providing a safer way to shop 
  • Showcase the benefits of Klarna products vs other financial services products such as credit cards. We’re always on the side of shoppers – and we want them to know it. 

Of course there was a long lead time to get things going… Only joking – the campaign was to launch immediately. 

Most campaigns want to grab your interest. This campaign decidedly did not want your interest… 


Keeping brand synergy strong and staying true to our objectives were absolutely key to the success of this campaign. 

Riffing on one of Klarna’s pay later product benefits – no interest – Klarna decided to do the opposite of most marketing campaigns, and tell people we didn’t want their interest. We knew this would help the message hit home. 

We worked with our partners in the Klarna marketing team and partner agencies to quickly turnaround creative across multiple paid and owned properties. Campaign bursts in May & July 2020 saw Klarna taxis driving around London, print ads, OOH sites and organic and paid social content all getting tonnes of interest (unlike Klarna itself during that time). 

Creative taglines like ‘no thanks, old banks’, ‘why pay the old way?’ and ‘this ad doesn’t want your interest’ coupled with Klarna’s quirky branding helped deliver the message in a punchy, instantly accessible way. 

Additional hero elements included:

  • Digi OOH at London Piccadilly Lights – designed, delivered and live in a just few days 
  • Wraps and ads in publications including the Evening Standard, The Telegraph, Grazia and TimeOut 
  • Using consumer input in creative elements, to show the hype wasn’t just by and for ourselves. For example, featuring tweets from people with positive experiences using Klarna in tube ads 
  • Using location specific cultural references for OOH featuring ‘Buy now, pay later customers in the UK saved £76 million in interest charges last year’ messaging. This included ‘that’s enough to buy Liverpool a new centre back pairing’ or ‘that’d buy 19,587,628 pints of cider’ (examples featured in Liverpool and Bristol) 
  • Jumping on trending memes with Klarna specific messaging to hit culturally relevant notes and help our message travel organically on social. For example, the huge success of the England team in the Euros gave the chance to drop classics like ‘Extra time. No Penalties’ (in reference to Klarna’s snooze payment function) during gameplay. We also used the Southgate / Kane hugging meme format at the height of its popularity with Kane tagged as ‘Klarna’ and Southgate tagged as ‘Shoppers who don’t want to pay interest’, delivering product benefits in an engaging way. 

Partner agencies also ran activity targeting policy and regulation decision-makers during the campaign periods, to encourage action around bringing pay later regulation up-to-date.


Telling people to pay us no interest really got them paying interest. The right kind. 

We over-delivered on all the KPIs, with just weeks from brief to launch – and had fun with it! Specifically, we delivered: 

  • An overall increase in awareness of 5% (measured via nat rep surveys with Attest) 
  • Increase in female audience awareness of 8% and male audience awareness of 3% 
  • A bump up three places to 4th place overall for unprompted awareness – placing ahead of all competitors 
  • 2.95m impacts from our Piccadilly Lights digi OOH 
  • Overwhelmingly supportive messages on social from our consumer network, highlighting and reinforcing exactly what we were doing with the campaign (for example, people sharing the reasons they use Klarna and how the products benefit them) 
  • 140k impressions and 9k likes on just 3 organic meme posts on Instagram, helping get the message out beyond our existing consumer network 
  • Over-performance vs target of between 20% and 40% for paid social metrics, including 536.6k engagements, 25.4m impressions, 6.8m reach and 41.9k clicks. 

Mark Godfrey, Head of B2C Marketing Klarna UK, says: 

We at Klarna are used to flying by the seat of our pants but this one took the proverbial… Puzzle were able to skillfully navigate their way through this ever-changing and expanding media plan with a composure and agility which gave us the freedom to be as creative and relevant to the locations and placements of our media as possible. 

The quality of the output (particularly on premium) hero placements such as County Hall and Piccadilly Lights were nothing short of remarkable in the timeframe and exceeded our expectations. 2 of 3 

As the campaign grew in scale and stature it transformed into something far more powerful than a quick, targeted, burst campaign and as you can see from the results, it achieved a significant shift in awareness of Klarna and our offering. 

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