Klarna lampoons 'Neanderthal' credit models in new campaign

The campaign includes a pop-up that explores the history of money.

Klarna: ad shows a Neanderthal and modern man
Klarna: ad shows a Neanderthal and modern man

Klarna has launched a campaign that aims to highlight the "antiquated" credit model that many consumers are still using and shows how services like Klarna bring credit into the modern age.

The out-of-home UK campaign, "Old credit is history", features a tongue-in-cheek depiction of a Neanderthal with a credit card juxtaposed with a modern-day man with his mobile phone displaying Klarna.

As part of the campaign Klarna will open the doors to its "Old credit is history, Klarna cave", a three-storey museum where visitors can follow mankind's financial journey through the ages. The immersive experience, running for three days from 23 September, will allow guests to journey back in time with food from a paleo diet and transform their looks with beard trims and blow-dries. Guest speakers for the experience on Soho's Greek street include financial expert Kia Commodore and author and psychotherapist, Owen O'Kane.

Working alongside a historian, Klarna identified that money is now in its fourth revolution thanks to digital currencies, neobanks and biometric payment systems – opening a new chapter in the history of money. This is driven by consumer demand and expectations. Klarna feels parts of the financial world are still stuck in the past, where legacy businesses charge consumers "extortionate" fees and interest charges.

Through "Old credit is history" it seeks to shed light on the business models of traditional credit card companies. It claims that in 2020, Brits paid £5.7bn in credit card interest and fees and "buy now pay later" products saved people £76m in interest payments.

Alex Marsh, head of Klarna UK, said: "At Klarna, we've always been vocal in our belief that traditional credit models are stuck in the past and don't benefit consumers. It's time antiquated financial businesses listened to what consumers want and offered better ways to pay that provide flexibility, choice and control, without any hidden fees.

"It's been so insightful working on the campaign to understand the journey money has taken over thousands of years and what could be coming up next. We believe that old credit solutions should become a thing of the past and 'Old credit is history' is a fun, tongue-in-cheek way to bring that important message to life."