The Work: Klarna jumps into in-game advertising

Mariam Cheik-Hussein
By Mariam Cheik-Hussein | 3 September 2021

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In-game advertising has become increasingly attractive for brands since the pandemic. We look at Klarna’s first foray into the space and the results it delivered.

Fintech company Klarna wanted a campaign that would have a big impact on consumers as they prepared for their Christmas shopping in 2020. The business, in a competitive buy-now-pay-later market, launched its “K-Rated” campaign to boost awareness and drive consideration among a diverse range of shoppers in Australia to use Klarna when shopping online.

K-Rated rolled out across a variety of platforms, but Klarna also decided to leverage in-game advertising for the first time globally, recognising the boost gaming received during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to AdColony, 57% of Australians played mobile games daily after the pandemic hit, up from 43% pre-COVID-19.

Klarna, along with its agency, Thinkerbell, used AdColony to tailor its ads to appear in-game. With the help of Anzu’s integrated advertising solution, AdColony delivered the ads in a format it calls VDOOH (virtual digital out-of-home). VDOOH are ads in the form of billboards and posters strategically placed within the gaming environment, simulating out-of-home ads in the physical world.

The K-Rated campaign targeted consumers aged 18-39 and ran for a month from November to December 2020.

The campaign: K-Rated
Brand: Klarna
Agency: Thinkerbell
The brief: Raise awareness and drive consideration among Australian shoppers to use Klarna
Key results: More than 64,000 unique gamers reached in Australia


“Klarna is always exploring new and innovative ways to connect with their customers on platforms they love to use,” says Klarna Australia consumer marketing manager Rebecca Selth.

“In-game advertising was a clear choice to add to the marketing mix, which allowed Klarna to test the platform following the increasing popularity of gaming in Australia.”

The campaign achieved 357,643 impressions and led to 64,840 unique gamers reached in Australia for Klarna.

K-Rated also drove engagement among gamers. Results saw a click-through rate of 1.50% (300 times greater than the industry benchmark of 0.005%) and a video completion rate of 90% (above the average VCR of 56%) beating the eCPCV benchmarks by 125%. Viewability achieved was 95% (above the average viewability at 64%).

“After seeing the results that in-game advertising achieved for K-Rated, Klarna will be looking to incorporate more in-game advertising in the strategic plans of future campaigns, as well as targeting consumers across the broader gaming and esports spectrum, including livestream audiences,” says Selth.

“We are proud to see Australia taking the lead in Klarna’s advertising activity, and show our teams in other countries the potential of in-game advertising, and we look forward to collaborating with AdColony across their spectrum of impactful gaming ad formats in the near future.”

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