Brad Parscale told 60 Minutes that Facebook employees worked right alongside the Trump 2016 campaign workers to help President Donald Trump win the presidency. Parscale is Trump’s digital director – and as seen in the below 60 Minutes video, Brad called Facebook the “500-pound gorilla,” taking up 80 percent of the digital budget. Meanwhile, people on Facebook and Twitter are calling it troubling that Parscale spoke of micro-targeted Facebook ads that helped Trump win the presidency. Especially troubling to folks unfamiliar with social media strategizing is the notion that Facebook employees were “embedded” in the Trump 2016 campaign, according to Parscale, and those Facebook workers worked alongside Trump campaign workers on a near-daily basis to teach the Trump 2016 campaign folks how to target Facebook ads effectively.
According to the Guardian, the Trump 2016 campaign spent the bulk of their budget earmarked for online advertising toward Facebook ads. Parscale noted that the Trump campaign didn’t just create a few ads and throw them up on Facebook like spaghetti on a wall to see what would stick with Facebook users. Instead, Brad revealed that the campaign tested more than 50,000 types of Facebook ads on a daily basis in order to gain the type of micro-targeted voters that they desired.
Brad told 60 Minutes that even though President Trump prefers to speak to the masses via his Twitter account, he won via those targeted Facebook ads. Facebook offered up their own employees who worked inside the Trump 2016 campaign’s digital office to teach the Trump team how to run Facebook ads. Folks “who supported Donald Trump” were desired, so the Facebook employees were first asked about their viewpoints on a political basis.
Facebook was able to teach the Trump campaign workers how to target people as specific as 15 folks in the panhandle of Florida who Parscale said he “would never buy a TV commercial for.” Brad would create a Facebook ad showing a bridge falling apart and then find “1,500 people in one town” who have concerns regarding infrastructure. Parscale even paid attention to seemingly minor design changes like color, wording of the Facebook ads, and other variations to find success.
Parscale said he heard that Hillary Clinton’s campaign was offered to have Facebook employees embedded in her campaign but she said no. The 60 Minutes episode said that Clinton confirmed that they turned down having Facebook employees help them.
Brad said he got an email from “Kathy K.” years ago, who needed websites for Melania Trump’s skincare line and other Trump websites. Parscale said yes, and that gig eventually led to Brad’s biggest job yet: the day that the Trump campaign let Parscale know that Trump would be running for president and that they needed a website in two days. Parscale said that he agreed to create the website and that it would cost $1,500.
Parscale said that $1,500 turned into more than $90 million eventually, much of which was spent on Facebook ads. Brad claimed that he didn’t target people by race on Facebook. Brad also said that none of his “dark ads” contained offensive photos or wordings.
Brad claims that Twitter “bots” are all a joke and that he’s not “King of Bots.” Parscale claims the Russian plot line is being pushed by liberal people – with the irony being that liberal-leaning platforms like Facebook and Twitter are the ones that helped conservatives win.
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