Brand Slam: Mastercard vs Klarna

The financial services brands are banking on music, fashion and cars to engage with consumers.

Klarna: experiential partnerships with fashion brands
Klarna: experiential partnerships with fashion brands


Event structure 

The brand has worked with agencies including Sprint Studios and Octagon and held activations tying in with its sponsorships of music, automotive and sporting events.

Social footprint

@MastercardUK has 87,000 followers, its Facebook page has amassed just over 16 million likes and its Instagram @mastercard has 137,000 followers.

Recent campaigns

Mastercard’s immersive food experiences in New York reflect the adage "the way to a man's heart is through his stomach", with the brand aiming to appeal to customers through their passion points, such as food. A restaurant collective, dubbed "Priceless", was launched in New York last summer, recreating three restaurants from Tanzania, the UK and Japan. The experience featured demonstrations from the chefs and digital window displays.

At Goodwood Festival of Speed, Mastercard displayed an exhibit of a dream car, inspired by the results of a competition where it asked children to create their dream car.

Latest campaign

Mastercard brought its partnership of the 2019 Rugby World Cup to life with an experience enabling rugby fans to try the sport in a whole new way. The activation simulated the impact of a professional rugby tackle. Held in London, it involved participants donning a special suit that transmitted vibrations at programmed points of impact. This replicated the force of being tackled by England rugby players Chris Robshaw, Maggie Alphonsi and Jason Robinson.


Event structure

The "Shop now, pay later" service provider has worked with agencies such as Trace Publicity and partnered with retailers and charities such as Topshop, Asos and Wild at Heart Foundation.

Social footprint

@Klarna haas 15,300 followers on Twitter, just under 121,000 likes on Facebook and 38,600 followers on Instagram.

Recent campaigns

Klarna reached out to pet owners with a "Pup-up shop" offering dog-grooming activities and canine-friendly snacks. The shop featured a salon, café and Christmas card-making, with personalised merchandise and dog products available to purchase, too.

In October, Klarna staged a takeover at a Manchester townhouse, partnering with 27 brands for an activation featuring beauty treatments and fashion and lifestyle events. Brands showcased at the "House of Klarna" included Asos, Beauty Bay, House of Holland, Missguided, Oliver Bonas and Topshop. Other features included a sustainable hub.

Latest campaign

In February, Klarna staged activations at both London Fashion Week and New York Fashion Week. In London, Klarna partnered with British designer Olivia Rubin, who offers payment through Klarna's "Pay later in 3" service, to stage a pop-up nail salon. Dubbed the "Smoooth salon", guests could browse clothes and enjoy some rest and relaxation between shows, alongside a manicure. In New York, as part of its title sponsorship of STYLE360, a fashion presentation and shopping experience, Klarna invited people to make purchases in a pop-up using the shopping service.

Campaign says:

With its sponsorship of such iconic events including The Brits and Goodwood, Mastercard is engaging with consumers who have a wider range of interests and backgrounds. Klarna, meanwhile, is tapping into a younger, more budget-conscious audience.

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