Michael Bloomberg's Campaign Suddenly Drops Memes Everywhere

  • In Politics
  • 2020-02-13 13:18:34Z
  • By The New York Times
APTOPIX Election 2020 Michael Bloomberg
APTOPIX Election 2020 Michael Bloomberg  

Mike Bloomberg has contracted with some of the biggest meme-makers on the internet to post sponsored content on Instagram promoting his presidential campaign.

The Bloomberg campaign is working with Meme 2020, a new company formed by some of the people behind extremely influential accounts.

Mick Purzycki is the lead strategist of the Meme 2020 project. He is also the chief executive of Jerry Media, a media and marketing company that is a powerful force in the influencer economy. The company's portfolio includes some of the most notable meme accounts on Instagram. Jerry Media was at the center of controversy last year after a debate around proper crediting in meme culture.

In January, Purzycki tapped a number of large influencers whom he had formed relationships with through his association with Jerry Media. (Elliot Tebele, the founder of Jerry Media, has no involvement in the project.)

The campaign, which launched this week, has already placed sponsored posts on Instagram accounts including @GrapeJuiceBoys, a meme page with more than 2.7 million followers; Jerry Media's own most popular account, with more than 13.3 million followers; and @Tank.Sinatra, a member with more than 2.3 million followers.

The accounts all posted Bloomberg campaign ads in the form of fake direct messages from the candidate.

"Mr. Tank:" an ad on @Tank.Sinatra begins, "I've been waiting for my meme for so long that I learned how to make memes myself in photoshop. What do you think of this one?" The message is followed by a photo of Bernie Sanders that has become a meme in recent weeks.

George Resch, a director of influencer marketing at Brandfire and founder of @Tank.Sinatra, has served as Meme 2020's primary liaison with the meme community.

Resch has posted two ads so far on behalf of the campaign. On Sunday, he posted an ad in which a fake direct message from Bloomberg asks Resch to make him look "cool" for the Democratic primary.

Evan Reeves, a creative director for Jerry Media, was brought in as the head of creative to devise an unconventional campaign and to build a self-aware ironic character around Bloomberg.

All of the ads posted so far feature disclosures that they are ads, although many followers assumed that the posts were satirical. One account made the disclosure straightforwardly: "yes this is really #sponsored by @mikebloomberg," in the caption.

"It's the most successful ad that I've ever posted," Resch said, "and I think a lot of it came from people being confused whether or not it was real."

Other influencers have been quick to praise the campaign. "Best advert ever," commented Chris Burkard, a travel influencer who has more than 3.5 million followers. "So good," commented Jason Strauss, a partner at the Tao Group.

Many meme account followers, however, were more skeptical. "This is a clear example of what wealth can get you votes. Bloomberg's a billionaire and is able to pull in endorsements like this," commented user @rebelwithoutapause_.

"I hate this," commented Ed Droste, a musician.

Memers involved with Meme 2020 include: @MyTherapistSays, @WhitePeopleHumor, @TheFunnyIntrovert, @KaleSalad, @Sonny5ideUp, @Tank.Sinatra, @ShitheadSteve, @adam.the.creator, @moistbudda, @MrsDowJones, @TrashCanPaul, @cohmedy, @NeatDad, @FourTwenty, @GolfersDoingThings, @DrGrayFang, @MiddleClassFancy and @DoYouEvenLift. Together, the collective has an audience of more than 60 million followers.

"Mike Bloomberg 2020 has teamed up with social creators to collaborate with the campaign, including the meme world," Sabrina Singh, a senior national spokeswoman for the Bloomberg campaign, said in a statement. "While a meme strategy may be new to presidential politics, we're betting it will be an effective component to reach people where they are and compete with President Trump's powerful digital operation."

The campaign recently announced it had hired Eric Kuhn, who made a name for himself as Hollywood's first "social media agent," representing digital talent at United Talent Agency.

Last week, The Daily Beast reported that the Bloomberg campaign was offering social media influencers $150 to create content in support of Bloomberg through Tribe, a "branded content marketplace" that connects social-media influencers with brands.

"We're trying to be innovative with how we're translating the campaign message on social, trying to do it how the internet actually works," an aide to the Bloomberg campaign said. "Tweeting from @mikebloomberg is a very 2008 strategy."

"The way Trump's campaign is run is extremely social first," the aide continued. "We're trying to break the mold in how the Democratic Party works with marketing, communication and advertising, and do it in a way that's extremely internet and social native."

Other candidates, like Andrew Yang, who announced the end of his campaign this week, have been able to make a splash on social media by appealing to influential YouTubers and memers. Sanders has successfully secured endorsements from popular internet figures with large followings such as podcaster Joe Rogan and YouTubers Tyler Oakley and Ethan Klein. Niche meme communities like Da Share Zone and NUMTOT have also come out in support of Sanders.

After several large Instagram memers became aware Wednesday of Bloomberg's influencer campaign, many expressed an interest in creating sponsored posts for him. The campaign so far has seemed amenable. "We want to work with creators, and we've never been shy about paying people for creative work," the aide said.

Teenagers, many of whom can't yet vote themselves, seemed excited about the prospect. "I would be down - bread is bread," said the teenager who runs the meme page @BigDadWhip. "That would be kind of dope. I could say I helped a presidential candidate."

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

© 2020 The New York Times Company


More Related News

Seth Meyers to Elizabeth Warren: Why Haven
Seth Meyers to Elizabeth Warren: Why Haven't You Endorsed Bernie for President?

On Tuesday night, one day after welcoming Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) to the program-and witnessing him go in on "grotesque" Republicans for nickel-and-diming the poor in the recent coronavirus stimulus bill-Seth Meyers brought on Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), his former rival candidate for the

Biden says Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is on his list for vice president
Biden says Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is on his list for vice president

Former Vice President Joe Biden says Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is on his shortlist for vice president should he win the Democratic presidential nomination.

Bernie Sanders remains hopeful about
Bernie Sanders remains hopeful about 'narrow path' to Democratic nomination

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) isn't backing out of the 2020 race just yet.Sanders, who remains about 300 delegates behind former Vice President Joe Biden in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, was Late Night with Seth Meyers' first remote guest of the COVID-19 pandemic Monday night. Meyers asked Sanders if he still saw a path to the nomination, "and if not, why are you remaining in the race?" Sanders had an answer for both questions.Acknowledging the delegate count, Sanders said "we have a path," but "it is, admittedly, a narrow path." "We have a strong grassroots movement who believe that we have got to stay in the race" to fight for...

The coronavirus crisis hasn
The coronavirus crisis hasn't changed Joe Biden's mind on 'Medicare for All'

"Single payer will not solve that at all," he said Monday. Bernie Sanders begs to differ.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has quietly backed off endorsing Democratic primary challengers
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has quietly backed off endorsing Democratic primary challengers

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) beat the odds in 2018, winning a primary against a Democrat who'd been in office for decades. But since she's entered Congress, Ocasio-Cortez has largely declined to endorse progressives following her lead, Politico reports.Ocasio-Cortez entered Congress last year ready to shake things up. She quickly joined up with the progressive group Justice Democrats and called on its supporters to run against incumbents, and reportedly set her primarying sights on House Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) even before she took office.But since starting to work with those longstanding Democrats, Ocasio-Cortez has publicly supported ousting just two...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: Politics