Just like the rest of us, Donald Trump is having a birthday this year. Unlike the rest of us, he is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to remind his Facebook-happy base about it, according to a report from the New York Times.
According to data from Facebook on website and Instagram advertising, analyzed by Democratic communications firm Bully Pulpit Interactive, Trump’s re-election campaign has so far spent more on Facebook advertising than any Democratic candidate, mostly targeting women 55 and older. This makes sense when you consider that the Trump campaign’s spending on Facebook was seen as a key reason why he won the 2016 election.
The real interesting nugget in the Times report, however, is the Trump campaign’s use of the president’s upcoming 73rd birthday in June. Over five weeks, the campaign spent about $450,000 on birthday ads specifically, more than half of all money it spent on Facebook ads at that time, the Times wrote. Of course, there’s a reason for all this: while reminding people that he has a birthday coming up, Trump is simultaneously shaking them down. From the Times:
The birthday ads serve a key purpose for the Trump campaign: collecting contact information for possible new supporters as well as existing ones. Asking people to sign a birthday card is a tried-and-true tactic, digital experts said.
Similar ads by the campaign have asked for well-wishes for First Lady Melania Trump’s birthday, which was last month. And the White House is getting in on the info-harvesting act as well.
The weirdest part? According to the Times, many of the ads say Trump will be turning 72, not 73.
Is the president a goddamn baby about his birthday and getting older? Who is to say! We’ve reached out to the Trump campaign about what could just be an honest advertising mistake and will update if we hear back.
Regardless, the president spending nearly half a million to tell everyone about his birthday? It tracks.