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How Zelle® Partnered with Vox Media to Inform and Educate Modern Financial Consumers

A case study on “The Science Behind Scams” campaign – which led to high ratings and strong results in Trust, Education, and Safety


Along with new technology comes the need to understand how to use that technology safely — and in our fast-changing world, it can be hard to keep up. As more new and innovative finance-related apps and platforms continue to emerge, consumers are finding themselves caught in scams; losing not just money, but valuable trust.

Zelle® is a great way to send money to friends and family, even if they bank somewhere different than you do. 1 While Zelle® is fast, safe, and easy to use, understanding how the payments service works — and why it should only be used with those you trust — is critical for consumers to know. That’s why Zelle® looked for a partnership with the goal of educating consumers on how to use their platform safely, identify red flags, and avoid common scams.

Enter Vox Media, the leader in modern media and a trusted guide to the modern world. Together with award-winning Vox Creative’s Explainer Studio, Zelle® built an Explainer series hub on which dove deep into “The Science Behind Scams.” The interactive hub included a series of informational explainers, as well as a quiz to test consumers’ knowledge on the ability to spot a scam. Paired with Vox Media’s high-impact proprietary custom Athena and Prelude ad units and the custom Explainer format, the partnership drove real results in guiding consumers to better understand this new financial world.

1. U.S. checking or savings account required to use Zelle®. Transactions between enrolled consumers typically occur in minutes and generally do not incur transaction fees. Check with your financial institution.


In partnering with Vox Media, Zelle® was able to reach modern consumers at scale, delivering important information and awareness — and increases in trust, education, and safety. The content resonated with Zelle®’s key audience (A35-54) driving significant increases across the board. Respondents felt Zelle® was a good sponsor brand, likely driving increased favorability, while the informative nature of the content helped move messaging. Additionally, strong results were seen across most metrics among the 18-24 year-old audience.

Explainers were created to discuss the psychological tactics used by scammers. The “White Lab Coat” Explainer saw the highest completion rate, suggesting users were most interested in how instruction plays into scams. In the total hub, high impact distribution units were utilized during the campaign, generating 182,600 pageviews, 148,406 unique users, and 110,000 total engaged minutes campaign-to-date.

The quiz Athenas ran across Vox Media and Concert generated 1,991,638 impressions and 4,661 hours of ad exposure. 26 percent of users who started the quiz completed it — eight points higher compared to earlier completion data, indicating that increased exposure to the campaign led to increased performance. Almost half (48 percent) of those who completed the quiz clicked to learn more about how to Pay It Safe with Zelle®. It’s clear that Vox Media helped Zelle®’s advertising resonate and connect with a tech-savvy, digitally engaged audience in new and impactful ways.

“Our goal was to bring awareness to a serious topic like fraud and scams through a creative approach that was entertaining, thought-provoking and provided viewers with practical information from industry experts in cybersecurity and psychology,” said Alexis Castorina, Head of Consumer Education, Zelle®. “We continually explore new, creative ways to educate consumers on payment safety and how to avoid fraud and scams. Partnering with Vox Media helped us reach our target audience with important safety messaging in a new format, across new channels.”