Friday, February 14, 2020

Bloomberg's Memes

He's spending astronomical amounts of money. And the "meme community"? Pfft.

It's Taylor Lorenz, at NYT, "Michael Bloomberg’s Campaign Suddenly Drops Memes Everywhere":

Mike Bloomberg has contracted 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, Mr. Purzycki tapped a number of large influencers who 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 began 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.

Mr. 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 Mr. Bloomberg asks Mr. 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 Mr. Bloomberg...
Still more.