For fans and members of the drag community, life without live performances amid the pandemic has been, well, a drag. Fortunately, payment provider Klarna raised spirits and funds for the community with its Breakfast for Dinner virtual drag brunch series. Hosted on Facebook Live by queens Kim Chi and Naomi Smalls, Breakfast for Dinner took place on three consecutive Wednesdays at 8 p.m., offering curate recipes, tutorials, lip sync extravaganzas and plenty of “gag-worthy” looks (We’re Magnetic handled). The series also featured appearances by other noteworthy queens, including Gigi Goode, Violet Chachki and Aquaria. For each person that attended, Klarna donated $1 to drag entertainers who have been impacted by COVID-19 (up to $5,000 per brunch). The program ultimately saw exceptional results, so we tapped Megan Gokey, head of U.S. marketing at Klarna, to dive deeper into the strategy behind the program and glean insights on how to engage virtual audiences.
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Event Marketer: What were the marketing goals of the Breakfast for Dinner series?
Megan Gokey: In the current climate, people need positivity and consumers are looking for ways to escape social isolation—I’m one of them. Also, many people and communities are really struggling during this time. One of those communities that Klarna has always supported is the drag community, which is built off of and really thrives on being IRL. COVID is really hitting them hard and we have an ongoing relationship already with some of the most loved queens. So we pivoted and aligned on this idea of launching a virtual drag brunch series with Kim Chi and Naomi Smalls. We saw great positivity and results, which we’re really excited about.
EM: How did you land on the Breakfast for Dinner theme?
MG: In this new COVID world, anything goes, right? There aren’t rules anymore—schedules and routines are thrown out the door. The way we work, the way we eat, the way we stay entertained is not the same. Change right now is really the only constant, and constant change and innovation is really what’s core to Klarna’s DNA. We’re constantly defying expectations and doing things differently, and that is so true for the drag queen community as well, which is why there’s so much synergy. We decided together to do things differently and host brunch for dinner because why not? It’s a time in the day where people can turn off, close their laptops and just really engage and let loose a little bit.
EM: Walk us through the attendee experience.
MG: The series was hosted by Kim Chi and Naomi Smalls, where they brought together different guests each week. It was hosted on Wednesdays on Klarna U.S.’s Facebook Live page and the theme each week changed. For the first week we did ‘on Wednesdays we wear pink.’ Our queens were dressed up in pink. A lot of fans that tuned in were sending pictures of them being dolled up in pink. It was quite a fun experience. And then the next week we were leaning into drag leisure. The shows included everything from chats about staying glam during this time to curated recipes to performances from the queens themselves and also tutorials. Throughout the show there was surprise and delight as well as after the show, where we selected guests to receive special Klarna gifts.
EM: Does the series content live on somewhere?
MG: It does live on. We’re actually seeing the views of the content continue to grow, post-show. And the content lives across our own social platforms, but we’ll also make it play into our shopping app. And then the queens are using the content on their social channels to just continue to drive engagement and entertainment for their fans.
EM: Any best practices you can share on virtual engagement?
MG: In this new world, what I would encourage is that marketers continue to explore creative avenues to engage with their customers and really offer more meaningful experiences. And that’s not just now, that should be always, and that’s the heart of Klarna. Hosting virtual events does not feel foreign to us at all. We’re continuing to iterate our plan to offer the most value for customers. I would just encourage other marketers to do the same, and put the consumer at the heart of what they do.
EM: Any other tips or tricks up your sleeve?
MG: We saw incredibly strong performance results and engagement by consumers. So I would encourage other marketers that are continuing to tap into different communities to make sure that there’s actually a real value that they’re adding. Which is what we truly believe—that Klarna is adding some real value, not only to the drag community, but to their fans.