Venmo brings the expression 'pony up' to life in its first-ever national TV ad

Venmo's new 'Pony Up' TV spot.

Popular money transfer app Venmo has rolled out its first nationwide TV spot as the service continues to enjoy rapid growth.

The spot, which is part of a broader campaign for the app, comes nearly a month after US banks confirmed that their competing payments service will be named Zelle.

Created by Austin-based agency Preacher, the campaign aims to show users that Venmo can help take some of the awkwardness out of splitting happy hour tabs, restaurant bills and monthly rent. In the commercial, Venmo users are shown literally riding atop ponies as they 'pony up' their payments.

In a company blog post, Venmo said that the ‘Pony Up’ campaign “is both a twist on a common phrase and a reflection of what makes Venmo so special: it removes the awkwardness of asking someone to pay you back, and makes payments fun.”

The ad is debuting on channels including MTV and Comedy Central as well as on sites like Hulu. Venmo, which is owned by PayPal, is also debuting a ‘Pony Up’ Snapchat filter on September 19. As part of the campaign, Venmo will also randomly reimburse selected users for their payments.

Later this month in Austin, Chicago, Portland and Nashville, Venmo is running an out-of-home campaign that will include billboards, street posters and murals. People in those cities will also find branded coasters, temporary tattoos and pizza boxes at bars and restaurants – “places where you’re already using Venmo to pay back friends,” according to the company.

Check out a sneak peek of the spot here.

Minda Smiley

Minda Smiley is a reporter at The Drum covering creativity and advertising. Based in Philadelphia, she primarily covers independent agencies and B2B marketing. She also oversees The Drum’s “Independent Influence,” a weekly series that spotlights the work, perspectives and inspirations behind independent agencies. During her time at The Drum, she has covered industry events including SXSW, ANA Masters of Marketing, 4A’s Transformation and C2 Montréal. She is a graduate of the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism.

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