Michael Bloomberg really wants to be seen as the “cool candidate” among his Democratic presidential contenders — at least according to a flood of memes that dropped Wednesday night on Instagram. Some of Instagram’s biggest meme-producing accounts posted memes about the candidate, and in fact, it’s his own campaign that’s behind the creative strategy.
“Hello Jerry. My granddaughter showed me this account. Your memes are very humorous. Can you post a meme that lets everyone know I’m the cool candidate?” Bloomberg’s official Instagram asked popular meme account @f***jerry in a screenshot of a direct message conversation.
The “chat” ended with Bloomberg telling the account he would Venmo them a billion dollars for a meme.
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All of the memes posted Wednesday night followed the same format: A screenshot of a direct message with different humorous exchanges.
Memes featuring the Democrat and former New York City mayor were also posted on many other popular accounts, including @grapejuiceboys, which has 2.7 million followers, and @tank.sinatra, with 2.3 million followers.
“Mike Bloomberg 2020 has teamed up with social creators to collaborate with the campaign, including the meme world,” Sabrina Singh, senior national spokesperson for the Bloomberg campaign, told CBS News. “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 collaborated with Meme 2020 for the posts, a new company created by those behind some of Instagram’s most well-known accounts, reported The New York Times. Other popular meme accounts involved in Meme 2020 include @MyTherapistSays, @KaleSalad and @WhitePeopleHumor.
Together, the accounts participating in Meme 2020 have an audience of more than 60 million followers, according to NYT.
Mick Purzycki, the chief executive officer of Jerry Media, is also the lead strategist of the Meme 2020 project, per NYT. Jerry Media is home to some of the most highly followed accounts on the social media platform.
The company was notably at the forefront of a heated debate last year regarding the use of others’ meme content, which resulted in a change to the way accounts on the platform get credit for the content they use.
Bloomberg’s campaign is no stranger to viral social media messaging. During January’s Democratic debate in Iowa, the Team Bloomberg Twitter account posted dozens of humorous, sometimes surreal tweets as a form of counterprogramming. As the other candidates sparred onstage, the Bloomberg account posted memes, jokes and a series of comical “#BloombergFacts,” often poking fun at the candidate.