Jerry Media, the promoter behind the expired Fyre Festival, is working with the presidential campaign of former New York mayor, Michael Bloomberg, in an effort to make the 77-year-old candidate look cool, The New York Times reports. The Meme 2020 project, led by Mick Purzycki, executive director of Jerry Media, has attracted influencers with large supporters to create campaign content and promote it to their audience.
A spokesperson for the Bloomberg campaign did not answer email questions from The edge about the advertising campaign, but offered a prepared statement: “Mike Bloomberg 2020 works with social creators to collaborate with the campaign, including the meme world. Although a meme strategy is new to presidential politics, we bet it will be an effective part to reach people where they are and to compete with President Trump’s powerful digital operation. ”
George Resch, director of influencer marketing at BrandFire, told the Times the Bloomberg advertisement was the most successful that he ever placed on his own @ Tank.Sinatra Instagram account. He said in a phone call with The edge that he understands why some of his followers are not happy with it, but adds that he is not affiliated with Jerry Media.
“These memes and paid advertisements are not Michael Bloomberg’s approval,” says Resch. He says to him that the ads are a way to “democratize” a political process that was tackled by President Trump and his self-funded 2016 political campaign. ‘I and other people with large followers wanted to find out: how can we raise different candidates? Bloomberg was the first to see the humor and was willing to be the joke of the joke and despise himself. “
Asked how to increase the richest democrat in the race the process was ‘democratize’, Resch points out that all political candidates spend money on advertising. “We are very careful to say:” this is sponsored by Mike Bloomberg, “he says.” No one calls NBC and asks them for a [paid TV] advertisement.”
Resch says that if Trump approached him for paid advertisements, he would consider this. “If we could fool him, I would certainly think about it,” he says. “I’ve ridiculed Donald Trump for years for free, so if he wants to pay me, I’d think about it.”
Some responses to the sponsored messages were very critical and like Jesselyn Cook from Huffington Post points out, even Instagram personality TheFatJewish (aka Josh Ostrovsky) says he refused to participate.
Bloomberg sees the general theme of the advertisements approaching the influencer in full daddy mode and asking for ‘help’. One advertisement on the GrapeJuiceBoys page (3.7 million followers) asks Bloomberg: “Can you post an original meme to make me look cool for the upcoming Democratic primary?”
Not long after the Iowa caucuses, the Bloomberg campaign began to search for influencers on the Tribe brand content platform and offered $ 150 to micro-influencers to create content “that tells us why Mike Bloomberg is the preferred candidate above the battle can take off aisle so ALL Americans feel heard and respected, ” according to The Daily Beast. The influencers on the Tribe platform create customized social content based on the criteria of a brand, either for placement on the brand’s social feeds (or in this case the candidate) or on their own feeds as a sponcon.
The influencer campaign is apparently part of Bloomberg’s pre-Super Tuesday advertising push; NBC News reports his campaign spent an average of $ 1 million a day on Facebook ads in the first two weeks of February. That’s five times what the Trump campaign spent in the same two-week period.
But Ostrovsky criticized Resch’s post and said that he personally could not find out about Bloomberg. “They asked me to do it, I said no. I grew up in New York City, so I can tell you firsthand that Bloomberg is a colossal shitbag, “Ostrovsky writes in his commentary. “I would encourage any meme account owner to take schmoney from almost any brand … because brands are garbage and deserve to get their money taken, but this dystopian black mirror simulation is too much for me …”
For his part, Resch says he sees nothing wrong with injecting a little humor into politics. “And if you come to a meme page for real political commentary, you miss the point.”