Hawkfish is a digital agency that played a key role in Joe Biden’s successful presidential campaign in 2020. The agency was founded in 2019 by Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City and a billionaire philanthropist, who invested over $100 million to create a cutting-edge platform for Democratic candidates and causes.
Hawkfish’s mission is to use data, technology, and creative talent to help progressive candidates win elections, advance policies, and engage voters in a rapidly changing media landscape. The agency offers a range of services, including strategic planning, message development, advertising, social media, analytics, and cybersecurity.
One of the main reasons why Hawkfish attracted attention and controversy during the election was its close ties to the Biden campaign. Several of the agency’s top executives, including CEO Josh Mendelsohn, had worked for Biden in the past or had close relationships with his team. In addition, Bloomberg himself endorsed Biden after he dropped out of the Democratic primary race and pledged to support him with his vast resources.
Hawkfish’s role in the Biden campaign was to provide a unified platform for digital operations, data analytics, and media buying. The agency worked closely with the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and other progressive groups to coordinate messaging, target voters, and optimize spending. Hawkfish also created a sophisticated dashboard called “Battleground” that allowed the campaign to track real-time data from multiple sources and adjust its strategy accordingly.
According to Bloomberg’s team, Hawkfish’s efforts helped Biden overcome the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the disinformation campaigns of Trump’s campaign and his allies, and the polarization of the electorate. The agency used micro-targeting, social listening, and AI-powered models to identify swing voters, test messages, and monitor trends. Hawkfish also ran hundreds of ads on various platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Hulu, using a mix of positive and negative messages.
Despite its success in helping Biden win the election, Hawkfish faced criticism from some quarters for its lack of transparency and potential conflicts of interest. Some Democrats raised concerns that Bloomberg’s involvement in the agency could undermine the party’s credibility and alienate progressive voters who opposed his candidacy. Others questioned the accuracy and bias of Hawkfish’s models and data, citing the agency’s ties to corporate and financial interests.
However, Hawkfish and its supporters argued that the agency was a necessary and innovative tool for Democrats to compete in the digital age and counter the well-funded and sophisticated operations of the GOP. They also stressed that Hawkfish was committed to ethical and legal standards, such as privacy protection, data security, and compliance with campaign finance laws.
In conclusion, Hawkfish is a digital agency funded by Mike Bloomberg that helped Joe Biden’s campaign win the presidency in 2020. The agency’s data-driven and tech-savvy approach to political marketing and communication has raised both praise and controversy in the Democratic party and beyond. Whether Hawkfish will continue to play a prominent role in future elections or fade into obscurity remains to be seen, but its impact on the 2020 election is undeniable.