Pure Beauty

Paris Hilton tweaks catchphrase for Klarna campaign

By Julia Wray | Published: 8-Feb-2023

Y2K nostalgia meets Gen Z in a campaign also featuring beauty influencer ‘baddie’ Bretman Rock

Klarna, the bank, payments and shopping service, is leaning into all things Y2K for its new campaign featuring noughties ‘it girl’ Paris Hilton.

In the multimedia campaign, the The Simple Life star updates her catchphrase ‘that’s hot’ to ‘that’s smooth’: a response to Klarna’s flexible payments and shopping app features. 

The Swedish fintech company said the That’s Smooth films also draw attention to other features including try before you buy, buyer’s protection and package tracking. 

Created in collaboration with Hilton’s company 11:11 Media, the films are directed by Ukrainian Grammy Award nominee Tanu Muino and are set in a ‘dream-like’ Klarna world amid a nod to Y2K fashion.

As a part of the campaign, Klarna ambassador and beauty influencer Bretman Rock makes an appearance alongside Hilton for what Klarna terms a ‘whimsical twist’.

The accompanying stills were photographed by Adrienne Raquel.

“Paris Hilton is a trailblazer across fashion, tech and business – areas very familiar to Klarna,” said David Sandström, Chief Marketing Officer of Klarna.

“Her ability to stay ahead of trends, her shopping prowess and the fact that our customer has grown up with her, made Paris the perfect person to partner with for this campaign.”

The films and stills will launch 27 February and will run through to March.

Brands are still buying into the Y2K renaissance

Socialite and business woman Hilton became a major media personality after appearing in the reality TV series The Simple Life in 2003 with childhood friend Nicole Richie.

She has had a foothold in the beauty industry since 2004, when she launched her first fragrance with Parlux, and now has a fragrance empire comprising 25 scents.

Klarna’s leveraging Hilton for its new campaign is the latest instance of beauty and adjacent industries tapping into nostalgia for the noughties.

Pushed by TikTok, retro favourites press on nails, butterfly hair clips and lip oils have become beauty staples once again.

But Gen Z’s love of Y2K has some worrying implications given that decade’s fetishisation of ‘size zero’ celebrities and models.

Interest in an ultra-skinny aesthetic has become evident in the soaring numbers of people searching for 'buccal fat removal' – up 188% on Google in December 2022 – amid rumours that actor Lea Michele and supermodel Bella Hadid had undergone the procedure.

The surgery involves cutting out the buccal fat pad in cheeks to create more defined cheekbones.

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