By Tim Marcin
Mike Bloomberg’s got boatloads of cash and he’s parting with it like the ships are sinking.
The latest folks to cash-in from the presidential candidate’s efforts to take the White House? Meme accounts on Instagram.
Reporter Taylor Lorenz broke down Bloomberg’s novel Instagram efforts at the New York Times, revealing the campaign was working with a group called Meme 2020. Mick Purzycki, chief executive of Jerry Media — of Fuck Jerry and Fyre Fest fame — is the lead strategist for the group, according to the Times, which has crafted Instagram posts designed to make Bloomberg look self-aware and funny.
The memes consist of fake messages “from” Bloomberg attempting to seem cool, which are then posted by the meme pages.
“Mike Bloomberg 2020 has teamed up with social creators to collaborate with the campaign, including the meme world,” Sabrina Singh, a Bloomberg spokesperson, told Mashable. “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 sponcon from meme accounts is just the latest digital effort from Bloomberg’s campaign, which has also dabbled in using the Weird Twitter jokes co-opted by brands and spent millions upon millions on digital ads. In fact, in just the first quarter of his campaign, Bloomberg dropped $188 million, $140 million of which was spent on digital/tv ads.
The reaction to the latest idea — paying meme accounts to shill on Instagram — has been mixed at best.
“Tank you’re a beautiful man, but this is an L,” wrote Josh Ostrovsky aka @thefatjewish, who is a a controversial influencer himself, in the comments of @Tank.Sinatra’s sponsored post. Asked about the push from Bloomberg, Ostrovsky said he turned down the chance to do sponcon for the billionaire and had… unkind… things to say about the Democratic candidate.
“They asked me to do it, I said no. I grew up in New York City so I can tell you firsthand, Bloomberg is a colossal shitbag,” he wrote on Instagram. “From the subjugation of minorities through stop and frisk policies to his hardline anti-marijuana stance, dude is a total hoe. I’d encourage any meme account owner to take schmoney from basically any brand (and use it to buy sick shit like jetskis and pure bred corgis) because brands are trash and deserve to have their money taken, but this dystopian black mirror simulation is too much for me i now need to be shot into the fucking sun.”
Reactions from other meme accounts aside, here’s a list of the accounts we’ve seen so far that have posted memes for Bloomberg:
@fuckjerry (14.9 million followers)
@GrapeJuiceBoys (2.7 million followers)
@Tank.Sinatra (2.3 million followers)
@KaleSalad (3.5 million followers)
@Sonny5ideUp (1.3 million followers)
@ShitheadSteve (5.3 million followers)
@moistbudda (2.2 million followers)
@WhitePeopleHumor (4.3 million followers)
@MrsDowJones (116,000 followers)
@adam.the.creator (665,000 followers)
@TrashCanPaul (1.8 million followers)
@cohmedy (3.7 million followers This post was reported by the Times but we were unable to confirm because it is a private account)
@NeatDad (1.3 million followers)
@NeatMom (915,000 followers)
@FourTwenty (3.8 million followers)
@GolfersDoingThings (572,000 followers)
@DrGrayFang (2 million followers)
@MiddleClassFancy (1.8 million followers)
@TheFunnyIntrovert (2.4 million followers)
@DoYouEvenLift (475,000 followers)
@GamersDoingThings (1.3 million followers)
@theharrisalterman (20,000 followers)
@fuckadvertisements (1.4 million followers)