Biden campaign embraces ‘Dark Brandon’ meme with new merch

Fifty-four per cent of Biden campaign store revenue come from sales of Dark Brandon products

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Friday 04 August 2023 13:40 EDT

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The Biden campaign has coopted the Dark Brandon meme and most of their merch sales come from products which incorporate it.

On Thursday, the Biden campaign posted a video of the president having a cup of coffee with the mug featuring an image of Mr Biden with laser eyes in the style of the widespread meme.

“I like my coffee dark,” Mr Biden says in the short clip.

As Mr Biden has struggled to gain online attention, the Dark Brandon meme has helped him go viral.

The meme depicts Mr Biden as an all-knowing, unbeatable political operator. Fifty-four per cent of the revenue from products sold by the Biden campaign include some version of the meme, the campaign told Axios.

The most sold products are the “Dark T-shirt” and the “Dark Roast Mug,” the campaign notes. The store includes 43 products, eight of them Dark Brandon-themed, such as a crop top, stickers, and baseball caps. Out of all orders from the store, 44 per cent are Dark Brandon-related, and they account for 76 per cent of all clicks linking users to the site, the campaign said.

The campaign told the outlet that they’re set to release a Dark Brandon tank top and they’re “prototyping” a Dark Brandon mug that changes colour.

“All we’re saying is that if you’re MAGA extremists, Vladimir Putin, the post-COVID economic collapse, climate change, a crumbling bridge, or our grassroots fundraising goals: You better watch out, Jack,” TJ Ducklo, a spokesperson for the campaign, told Axios.

The Biden campaign has been less successful in attracting small donors, categorised as those giving less than $200.

The campaign and its fundraising group received $10.2m from small donors during the previous quarter. During the same time in 2011, the Obama campaign raised $21.2m.

The Biden administration initially coopted the Dark Brandon meme last summer, as White House officials began sharing a number of images on Twitter, the platform now called X.

Dark Brandon stems from the Republican chant “Let’s go Brandon” which means “F*** Joe Biden”.

In April, when introducing comedian Roy Wood at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, Mr Biden joked: “I’m going to be fine with your jokes, but I’m not sure about Dark Brandon.”

The early images of Mr Biden with laser eyes, the commonly used aesthetic in Dark Brandon memes, have been linked to Yang Quan, a Chinese illustrator who after the 2020 election shared images of Mr Biden atop a throne similar to the one seen in Game of Thrones.

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