- Michael Bloomberg, a 2020 Democratic candidate, has employed a new campaign strategy in order to target social-media savvy voters.
- The billionaire former mayor of New York City has partnered with a meme collective linked to the popular Instagram page FuckJerry in order to promote his campaign.
- Instagram influencers like Tank Sinatra, Trash Can Paul, and Kale Salad posted sponsored advertisements, which appeared as direct messages between the Bloomberg campaign and the meme accounts.
- It’s unclear how much Bloomberg’s campaign paid for each sponsored post, though it was unlikely to put a dent in his $52 billion net worth.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Michael Bloomberg is utilizing his vast wealth to invest in a new campaign strategy: social media memes.
The former mayor of New York City announced in November that he was running for president in 2020 as a Democrat. The 77 year old, who has branded himself as a champion of working Americans and the middle class despite his $52 billion net worth, has vowed in his campaign statements “to defeat Donald Trump and rebuild America.”
Given his late arrival into the primary race, Bloomberg’s campaign has taken on creative approaches to marketing, tweeting about Lady Gaga, tattoos, and other millennial-focused content during a January Democratic debate in Iowa, and spending over $11 million for a 60-second Super Bowl campaign ad.
The billionaire’s latest campaign stunt involves social media influencers and memes. According to The New York Times, Bloomberg’s team has tapped Meme 2020, a company founded by the mastermind behind the meme-makers at Jerry Media.
Jerry Media is known for the popular meme page FuckJerry, which has nearly 15 million followers on Instagram. The collective also faced backlash last year for taking memes from other content creators without proper credit.
According to The Times, the campaign was launched this week and has placed sponsored posts on popular Instagram accounts like Tank Sinatra, who has 2.3 million followers, and Kale Salad, another account with 3.5 million followers.
The posts appeared as fake direct messages between the Bloomberg campaign and the meme accounts.
It’s unclear how much Bloomberg’s campaign paid for each sponsored post. The Daily Beast said the campaign was offering a “fixed $150 fee” to social media influencers with an audience of 1,000 to 100,000 followers to create original content. However those in Meme 2020 have a significantly larger audience base.
According to NBC News, Bloomberg also spent over $1 million a day on average for Facebook ads.
While the posts have gained a significant amount of attention on Instagram, some users have called out the campaign for its inauthenticity.
“Tank you’re a beautiful man, but this is an L,” The Fat Jewish, a meme page with over 11 million followers, commented below Tank Sinatra’s sponsored post.
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