Bloomberg's Instagram Meme Campaign Reaches Over 60M

political instagram campaign

Top Meme Pages Create Viral Content And Sponsor Presidential Candidates?

On February 11, 2020 Michael Bloomberg enlisted the help of top meme creators to spread awareness of his 2020 run for president. In a controversial influencer campaign that has many marketers reminiscing the Fyre Festival fiasco, Bloomberg’s sponsored posts managed to reach over 60 million people showing the true power of influencer marketing.

Read on to see the results of the campaign, 20+ sponsored posts, the response on social media, and more

Over 20 active top meme accounts created screenshot style posts of the presidential candidate’s direct message offer to “make him look cool.”

GOAL

  • Generate awareness and conversation about Michael Bloomberg’s candidacy to jump start the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries
  • Appeal to younger voters whom Bloomberg might seem out of touch or are unfamiliar with
  • Create a funny, viral campaign and reach millions

APPROACH

  • Channel – Instagram
  • Influencers – All 20+ influencers posted the sponsored memes on February 12, 2020.

THE 20 + CAMPAIGN POSTS

1. Fuck Jerry – 14.9M Followers

fuck jerry bloomberg

2. Shitheadsteve – 5.3M Followers

shithead steve

3. WhitePeopleHumor – 4.3M Followers

meme example bloomberg

4. FourTwenty – 3.8M Followers

View this post on Instagram

 

Quick vibe check. (And yes this is really #sponsored by @mikebloomberg)

A post shared by Four Twenty (@fourtwenty) on

5. Cohmedy – 3.7M Followers

cohmedy meme example

6. KaleSalad – 3.5M Followers

 

View this post on Instagram

 

I actually taste amazing tbh (and yes this is really #sponsored by @mikebloomberg)

A post shared by Memes (@kalesalad) on

7. GrapeJuiceBoys – 2.7M Followers

 

View this post on Instagram

 

I don’t get it ?? (Paid for by @mikebloomberg)

A post shared by @ grapejuiceboys on

8. TheFunnyIntrovert – 2.4M Followers

political instagram campaign example

9. Tank.Sinatra – 2.3M Followers

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Great job Mike… (Yes this is really sponsored by @mikebloomberg)

A post shared by Tank.Sinatra (@tank.sinatra) on

10. MoistBuddah – 2.2M Followers

moist buddah bloomberg

More Posts

11. DrGrayFang – 2M Followers

12. TrashCanPaul – 1.8M Followers

13. MiddleClassFancy – 1.8M Followers

14. FuckAdvertisements – 1.4M Followers

15. Sonny5ideUp – 1.3M Followers

16. NeatDad – 1.3M Followers

17. GamersDoingThings – 1.3M Followers

18. NeatMom – 916K Followers

19. Adam.the.creator – 666K Followers

20. GolfersDoingThings – 572K Followers

21. DoYouEvenLift – 496K Followers

22. Mrs.DowJones – 117K Followers

23. DeportedChild – 2.5K Followers

RESULTS FROM THE INSTAGRAM TAKEOVER

  • The 20+ posts reached nearly 60M Instagram followers. For comparison, the campaign’s reach was more than the populations of California and New York combined. Michael Bloomberg’s Instagram account gained 47,193 followers overnight.

ENGAGEMENT

  • Likes: 1,483,398
  • Comments: 44,593
  • Engagement rate (overall average): 4.3%
  • Around 80% of meme accounts in the campaign had better than average engagement rates. Some had almost double the engagement rate on this sponsored post compared to their typical engagement rate on non-sponsored posts.

Political Instagram Campaign Response

The campaign was novel in it’s approach and broke new ground in terms of political campaigns and influencers. It had engagement similar to other content on the meme accounts, but for the most part more comments with many of the comments negative or promoting other candidates.

As to convincing younger voters, of the commenters, some expressed their opinion by unfollowing and commenting “unfollow” on all the accounts involved, while others explained frustration with comments like “i follow meme pages for laughs not politics.” Many of the memes left followers confused, wondering if it was a legit ad. Most Instagrammers were left unsure as to whether or not the humor was actually at the expense of Mr. Bloomberg.

Notable top meme influencers who did not participate in the political Instagram campaign include memezar -11.3 million followers, epicfunnypage – 16.7 million followers, among many others. Thefatjewish (11 million followers) publicly spoke out against Michael Bloomberg in an Instagram comment, saying “they asked me to do it, I said no.”

Another account Ole Murica (46.6K followers) posted a DM exchange where they can be seen refusing the presidential candidate’s offer to be “heavily compensated.” Per the typical tendencies of the internet, fake Bloomberg memes in the same format are going viral as well which makes it difficult to differentiate the authentic paid endorsements from other meme pages trying to get in on the action.

While political Instagram campaigns are no doubt controversial, WIRED warns that with the upcoming election, “Mike Bloomberg’s meme campaign is also only the beginning.”

Legalities of Political Ads on Instagram

Currently, the FTC’s guidelines say that public online communications advocating for the election or defeat of a candidate for a fee must include a disclaimer to inform who paid for the content. Instagram’s Help Center Guidelines read that in Feed or Stories, an ad about social issues, elections or politics is required to include information about who paid for them. All meme accounts seem to be Instagram and FTC compliant as they included a disclaimer of sponsorship in the caption. In fact, most meme influencers disclaimers’ shared exact wording “(Yes this is really #sponsored by @mikebloomberg).”