Bloomberg trolls President Trump with mocking billboards, but they backfire as memes
Michael Bloomberg, or Mike, as he goes by in his presidential campaign, is not only experimenting with memes and influencers in his battle for the White House, he has also picked up on another internet craze: trolling.
When President Trump held rallies in Phoenix and Las Vegas on Friday, Bloomberg made sure the commander in chief was greeted with billboards mocking him about everything from his steak preferences to his bankruptcy baggage.
Billboards went up this week that read: “Donald Trump cheats at golf. Mike Bloomberg doesn’t,” “Donald Trump’s wall fell over,” “Donald Trump eats burnt steak. Mike Bloomberg likes his steak medium rare,” “Donald Trump has declared bankruptcy 6 times,” “Donald Trump went broke running a casino” and “Donald Trump lost the popular vote.”
In Las Vegas, the sayings were alternated on a digital billboard near a Trump property on the Vegas Strip and appeared along potential motorcade routes in both cities, according to CBS News. In Phoenix, Bloomberg’s out-of-home ads appeared on billboards owned by Lamar Advertising Co., a major outdoor advertising media company that touts its ability to reach voters in key primary and battleground markets.
On Friday afternoon, the official Twitter account for Mike Bloomberg’s presidential campaign @Mike2020 tweeted out the billboards, each bringing in thousands of likes, comments and retweets by the late afternoon.
Twitter users, as they do, are making the campaign their own. The simple jabs at President Trump are quickly becoming their own memes as they are shared online, although instead of making fun of President Trump, users are directing their sarcasm at Bloomberg.
For most presidential candidates, these speedy jabs would not be worth the expensive sum of out-of-home advertising. But it’s just another drop in the bucket for the billionaire who has already spent more than $300 million of his own money on ads across TV, radio, Facebook and Google and doesn’t seem to be slowing down, according to Ad Age’s Datacenter.
Last week, The New York Times reported the billionaire had launched a meme campaign with Meme 2020, where influencers shared sponsored memes as fake direct messages from Mike Bloomberg. Although it's not clear who worked on the billboards, Bloomberg has been quietly recruiting ad industry execs to join “Team Bloomberg" from creative shops like McCann and VaynerMedia, including Goodby Silverstein & Partners Co-Chairman-Partner Jeff Goodby, BarrettSF Founder-Executive Creative Director Jamie Barrett and former GroupM North American CEO Tim Castree.