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Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Taylor Laurenz Tech reporter at the New York Times. You are one of the most online people I know and lately I've been going online and seeing a lot of one person and that person is Mike Bloomberg. I've been seeing him in my twitter timeline. I'm seeing him on my instagram feed. I don't follow Mike Bloomberg. What is going on here? Why is he all over social media? Right now yeah well you know. After entering the presidential race. He's really tried to make a splash for himself In the media so he's been obviously buying lots of television ads also buying lots of ads across the Internet and that doesn't just mean banner ads Oliver Websites but also sponsored content on a lot of our favorite. You know mean pages and influence our accounts. And he's been essentially paying these people post memes and messages viral videos on his behalf. I am curious about instagram part. Especially because I feel like that has been the most visible controversial element of this Bloomberg add by. What do those look like? Can you tell us a little bit about the Bloomberg memes on Instagram? Yeah Aso the sort of medium campaign that dropped across a lot of the biggest accounts like Fuck Jerry Moist Buddha tank Sinatra. These are names. You may or may not be familiar with but they have millions of followers on Instagram. And what they did is postponed essentially fake looking. Em's between themselves and Bloomberg where Bloomberg would say funny kind of relatable things like I have a billion dollars. Can you make me look cool? And then the members of pretend to respond through this fake. Dm Like yes. Or No. Or I'll think about it. All of the posts had the caption. You know sponsored content but even so you know people. People like thought that they were fake. Yeah some people's keep damning me like are these real. Yeah it's like it is really fake looking especially because of what he saying right like I have a billion dollars. There was the one about like having a car with Lamborghini doors a level of self awareness and irony that I don't think the real Bloomberg has ever displayed. Yeah exactly very self aware and very much like playing into how he's uncool you know boomer And what about twitter? So he's definitely also making a big splash on twitter. What's his twitter presence like? He's just been posting on it in this very during just away He's been calling people out he's been doing the whole brand twitter thing where you like quote tweets and dunk on them. He's been doing that to donald trump attempting to kind of clap back. But you know they also posted this what people were calling a doctored video this video. That was kind of remixed from the debates to make it look like Bloomberg. Were saying you know. Has anyone else started like a business? I'm the only one Chevy started a business. Is that fair and know? Attempted to make it look like all. The other candidates just sat there in silence. They played crickets in the background in reality. That's not what happened the debate at all and it's actually kind of a funny video which is slightly disturbing. Mary Internet very video. It's very like I mean people make those things about trump all the time But I think to see it as sort of like sponsored content. That video also went out across a bunch of Munich counts so to see these. We Macau's that are being paid to essentially distribute. This highly edited video. That a lot of people won't know is edited Is Yeah I. I can see why that would really concerned people. Yeah right like seeing Bloomberg. Come off really well in this debate. That people in the no no he did very badly in. It's an effective tactic here but completely skewed from reality. Yeah and it's also I mean it's blatant misinformation. And when you think about you know what a Lotta people on the left have criticized trump for You Know Bloomberg is essentially leaning into sort of some of the worst aspects of that So I understand the criticism I think on Bloomberg side you know. He's essentially leveraging a lot of marketing tactics that have been used for a long time in the corporate world These types of viral sons videos. You know very active twitter presence paired with influence or marketing on instagram. I mean this is just like marketing one. Oh one for a lot of corporate brands But it is. It's just kind of jarring to see it leak into the political realm. And who are the People? Who are actually behind these memes on instagram and twitter. Who are the ones that are creating this content for the Bloomberg campaign? I'm so essentially. It's you know people from a couple of different groups One is Jerry media who most famously runs the account fuck Jerry Their CEO and one of their creative directors is involved with the campaign. It's also a bunch of people from brand fire which is another kind of influencer marketing collective and doing things media which is a media company that owns a lot of other big large accounts like middle-class fancy white people. Comes things out so those Mimi counts really appeal to the millennial vote And then in terms of like you know his actual team. He staffed his digital team with a ton of people from the tech industry themselves so people that are intimately familiar with these platforms hiring from places like facebook and Snapchat. So you know. On all sides he really has the best of the best in terms of digital talent Also because he can afford to pay them an exorbitant amount of money and he's promised them jobs through November no matter what the outcome of his campaign which no other political campaign could ever do that. So I think that's also why he's managed to attract some of these people. He was also just working with average people to essentially do digital what he called digital canvassing. I think other people would have other names for it where he's basically paying people twenty four twenty five hundred dollars a month To like text all of their friends about him and Post about him on their personal social media accounts so he's kind of engaging in a lot of tactics With a lot of sort of cross sections of different people. So what is the ultimate goal here with the Bloomberg campaign in hiring these younger folks to pass around memes and working with you know the tanks tra- people and other big influencers mean the goal with all of this is just generate attention online? It's to make a splash Bloomberg has entered the race late. He's not even on the ballot yet you know. He just participated his first debate recently. So he's just trying to get in people's heads you know. He's trying to establish himself as a front runner and viable candidate And the best way to do that is to get people talking and I think that that you know. He's very successfully done that It's it's also like he doesn't have to play by traditional rules. He has so much money that he can kind of do whatever he wants and so. I think that's also why you see him. Embracing really bold strategies that frankly other political candidates would probably shy away from because they don't have the resources to necessarily see it through in the way. Bloomberg can we're when we can just dump tons of money see if something works doesn't work dump tons of money elsewhere So he doesn't have to be quite as strategic. I think you know some of the other campaigns and I mean talking about dumping tons of money and whether or not it works. What's the response been to these mutants. Yeah the response has been positive. Negative Obviously there has been a huge amount of people online. Who think it's Hilarious and funny and love it? Um and then you have the other people who think it's you know the death of democracy so it doesn't really matter it doesn't really matter what people think the point is is that people are talking about him that you know. He's he's being talked about as a viable candidate. That's the only thing that matters so in that way it