Partner story.

Zelle.

Partnership.

Disrupting the disruptors.

Huge partnered to create Zelle, a money-transfer service designed to compete with the likes of Venmo, PayPal and Square Cash

Huge partnered with seven of the largest U.S. banks to create Zelle, a money-transfer service designed to compete with the likes of Venmo, PayPal and Square Cash. A unique partnership, Huge has been a part of the brand’s creation and product development all the way through to the go-to-market strategy that encompassed communications planning, advertising creative, media planning and social media.

We knew that a disruptive product requires a disruptive message. The name, visual identity and brand voice we concepted for Zelle were conceived to signal that the need for “Band-Aid” solutions are over. From very early on, we realized that this wasn’t about creating a brand for the next Silicon Valley financial platform; this was an opportunity to brand the next evolution of money transfers in the United States. We set about developing a brand around the idea of “connecting people through money like never before,” based on the product benefits of speed and reach, and the broader benefits of a ubiquitous network, an effortless experience and trusted partnerships. These became the brand foundations for messaging across the product, website and all of our marketing communications. 3+ projects with descriptions and dates.

The Zelle brand identity was developed to reflect the brand’s freshness and tenacity in how it will interact with users and continue to improve their experience over time. The logo itself contains a distinctive Z that is illustrative of a currency symbol and doubles as an app icon and favicon. Purple and white were chosen as primary colors in order to create differentiation in a category dominated by blues and greens. It was also important to choose a color with no connection to any of Zelle’s owner banks.

Zelle was launched to the public in early 2017 with a playful communications platform including social media, traditional media like TV, OOH, and print, experiential and PR backed by a $50M national media spend. Using the tagline “This is how money moves,” we communicated our relentless commitment to making life flow. The brand’s first campaign, “How Money Moves,” was a modern and fresh, and featured culturally relevant celebrities like Hamilton star Daveed Diggs. Our latest campaign, “Everyday Better,” launched in Spring 2019, highlighted situations that appeal to a broad spectrum of people, tapping into moments everyone can relate to, such as graduation, rent, birthdays, brunch and family reunions. The campaign used bright colors, quirky humorous characters and fun memorable lines that demonstrate an alternative to using cash or checks.

Our strategic communications team continues to work with Zelle to build a community, leveraging key partnerships and influencer engagement to ensure that Zelle is a hero product for daily and habitual use. This includes activations like a sponsorship with Stacks House, the first-ever financial pop-up with a purpose, encouraging media, influencers and attendees to engage in dialogue around women’s financial literacy, a partnership with the Governor’s Ball music festival to welcome media and influencers to exclusive pre-festival events, and collaboration with media personalities like Nicole Lapin, Andrea Woroch and Trae Bodge to promote the benefits of using Zelle.

Work.

  • Branding.
  • Strategic communications.
  • Products & platforms.
  • Campaign.
  • Strategy.

Reel.

Zelle.
02:00

Play.

Creating a unique and differentiated brand.

The Zelle brand identity was developed to reflect the brand’s freshness and tenacity in how it will interact with users and continue to improve their experience over time. The logo itself contains a distinctive Z that is illustrative of a currency symbol and doubles as an app icon and favicon. Purple and white were chosen as primary colors in order to create differentiation in a category dominated by blues and greens. It was also important to choose a color with no connection to any of Zelle’s owner banks.

"This is how money moves."

Zelle was launched to the public in early 2017 with a playful communications platform including social media, traditional media like TV, OOH, and print, experiential and PR backed by a $50M national media spend. The brand’s first campaign, “How Money Moves,” featured Hamilton star Daveed Diggs and communicated our relentless commitment to making life flow. The B2C launch began in December 2017 with a $50M national media spend and a supporting PR campaign. We targeted key cultural moments across OOH, TV, cable, and all major social platforms including Snapchat, a relatively untapped channel for the FinServ category. In addition we planned a variety of integrations and partnerships with GMA, LIVE with Kelly and Ryan, The Ellen Show, SoundCloud, and even SXSW.

Instilling trust in the brand.

Maintaining close relationships with a variety of internal stakeholders and teams at the bank partners and within Early Warning proved extremely important when Zelle was faced with a crisis in mid-2018. Achieving massive awareness and success so quickly always comes with risks, and despite clear consumer guidelines from both Zelle and its partners, scammers and fraud artists were able to exploit the newness of the company’s product in order to cheat consumers. The media quickly became aware of the situation and media outlets ranging from niche tech media to NBC and The New York Times covered the issue. Huge quickly helped Zelle and its partners execute a massive re-education campaign to ensure that Zelle’s users were behaving in ways that would protect themselves and restore trust in the platform and the new brand. The integrated campaign was an interdisciplinary effort including internal and external teams who all came together to create and communicate a better user experience that inspired confidence while also correcting consumer and media misunderstandings. By August 2018, only 1% of negative coverage focused on security concerns and more importantly, consumers were better protected.

"Everyday better."

In 2019, Zelle partnered with etiquette expert Elaine Swann to help consumers navigate some of the most common tension-filled moments that underpin Zelle use cases. These included paying back friends and family, group travel, group gifting, and entertaining. The topic of etiquette was a major media driver and a natural place for Zelle to be highlighted as an important tool. As a result, our partnership resulted in 2.34B media impressions, and 135+ placements. Our work on etiquette inspired us to launch the campaign “Everyday Better” to show how the Zelle payment platform could be applied in everyday situations. All of our insights were revealed by analyzing the behavior of high-volume users, which led to mini-campaigns focusing on “Festival Better,” “Gift Better,” and “Back to School Better.”

Among other things, the data showed that women found it difficult asking to be paid back money they are owed. We determined that it was our duty to help empower women to take charge of their financial lives. As a result we partnered with the first financial feminist pop-up, Stacks House, which showed how women can make money move with Zelle. The campaign was very successful with year-over-year payment values increasing by 56%, and transaction volume increasing by 71%. The campaign won an Innovation SABRE for Best Financial Sector campaign and was runner-up for PRWeek’s Best in Data Insight award.

Results.
56%
YoY payment values increased
71%
Transaction volume increased
Strategic Communications.

Investing in the community.

With the acceleration of COVID-19 throughout 2020, Zelle identified that senior citizens were both the most vulnerable community to fraud and the least likely to use digital banking tools (even though they stood to benefit from the most). To address these problems we partnered with technology start-up Senior Planet and offered online courses to senior citizens on how to bank digitally, how to utilize payment platforms like Zelle, and how to protect themselves from potential scams. The campaign was part of a larger consumer education program called “Pay it Safe.” Additionally, in December 2020, Zelle partnered with Karamo Brown to help those suffering from loneliness during the pandemic. The Zelle Holiday Spectacular with Karamo Brown was an Instagram Live holiday spectacular featuring famous guests such as Access Hollywood host Zuri Hall, choreographer and social media star Matt Steffanina, and Netflix star of Lucifer Lesley-Ann Brandt, discussing how they spread cheer to others by first helping themselves. The Spectacular also included an opportunity for people to nominate their community service-oriented loved ones to receive $25,000 to use for themselves. The three most deserving individuals were interviewed by Karamo. The campaign was the most successful Zelle earned media campaign to-date, generating 4.02B media impressions across 416 placements, +402.33% over goal. Karamo’s stories highlighting the partnership reached 900K+ individuals and the Spectacular has been viewed on IGTV 56K+ times.

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