En retorisk analys av Klarnas kommunikation

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Executive summary
Klarna is a Swedish fintech company founded in 2005 by three students at the Stockholm School of Economics. The company’s aim was to make it safer and easier for people to shop online. Today, Klarna’s overall goal is still to make online payments simple, secure and flexible. Among other things, you can choose to pay immediately, pay later or split the
payment monthly. Klarnas head of marketing, David Sandström believes that Klarna has to break norms within the bank and finance industry in order to stand out and be listened to. Hence, Klarnas marketing communication is characterized by controversial approaches. The
company is very successful and has been repeatedly praised for its innovative and conscious marketing communication. They have been talked about for their attention-grabbing collaborations with, among other things, famous gangster rappers, as well as their youthful
attitude. At the same time, Klarna has been in trouble several times due to their controversial communication. The company has multiple commercials that can be seen as ethically problematic, which is why we want to examine their communication and the factors that have
contributed to the attention the company has been getting. Despite Klarna’s risky communication, the company has a good reputation among the Swedish population. This makes it even more interesting to study and get a deeper understanding of how Klarna works with communication in order to position their brand.

This study aims to analyze the strategies behind Klarna’s commercials in order to understand how Klarna has positioned its brand based on product exposure and brand-building marketing, as well as what image they create of themselves through their celebrity collaborations. To fulfill the aim of the study we made a rhetorical analysis with semiotics as a tool. We analyzed four of Klarna’s commercials, to see how a bank can position itself. The analysis extracted important parts of the communication that gained understanding of how Klarna has positioned their brand and strengthened their argumentation by using pathos and celebrities as ethos. By analyzing how they communicate, we gained a deeper understanding of how the small details and
elements can serve a greater purpose, as well as how these attributes contribute to a feeling around Klarna’s services.

The results show that Klarna positions its brand by creating strong and unique feelings and associations around its services and its brand. By collaborating with two celebrities with criminal backgrounds, Klarna position its brand as a rebellious. The commercials reflect unexpected elements, small and large symbols that aim to allude to the emotions of the target audience. This is partly done with the help of strong colors, as well as unique details that together create a strong and unique character for the Klarna brand.

Julia Mohn, Hedda Seebass Svensson
MKV, Examensarbete , ht22
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