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Joe Biden Facebook Ad Uses Notes App Screenshot To Target Boomers


President Joe Biden recently announced he’s running for re-election, flooding Facebook with ads targeting voters in key swing states. But one of Biden’s ad campaigns is notable for the bizarre decision to use a style that looks like a Notes app screenshot.

“If we’ve learned anything over these past years it’s this: Never underestimate this grassroots team. You made our 2020 victory and all of our progress since then possible. And I need your support right now to win in 2024 and finish the job. Chip in,” the text in the new Facebook ad reads.

The ad, which you can see below and online at the Facebook Ad Library, is done in the style of a screenshot from someone’s iPhone. Taking screenshots of longer messages on the Notes app was first popularized on Twitter in the early 2010s, back when Twitter’s character limit only reached 140. It became common for users to type out their longest messages in the Notes app and post a screenshot, especially when it was a celebrity making a heartfelt apology.

You can even see the battery, wifi and cell signal icons in the image, though on closer inspection you can see those were added digitally and this wasn’t a real screenshot taken for the campaign.

The new Facebook campaign was started on May 10 and has targeted users in the most populous states, including California, New York, Texas and Florida. But the most interesting demographic information we can glean from Facebook’s Ad Library is perhaps that Biden is targeting Baby Boomers the most heavily. And not just Boomers, but Boomer women in particular, as you can see from the graph below.

Boomers have historically been an important voting bloc, if only because of the generation’s size. Born between 1946 and 1964, the oldest Boomers are currently 77 years old, while the youngest boomers are 59. And given the large number of Boomers in the U.S., many companies and institutions had to adjust to accommodate them—from new schools being built when they were young, to new services for the elderly as they retired.

But it’s important to note that Boomers aren’t the biggest generation anymore. Millennials, born between 1981 and 1996, overtook Boomers in sheer size in 2020, according to Pew Research. And they’re voting in larger numbers too.

Biden may be targeting older Boomers online, but his focus on younger people will be crucial in the 2024 election. Voters under 30 favored Biden over Donald Trump by a huge margin in 2020—Biden 59%, Trump 35%—but more recent polling shows Biden struggling with younger voters. While roughly 56% of voters under 30 said they approved of Biden at the start of his presidency, that slipped to about 36% in about two years, according to data from FiveThirtyEight.

It makes sense that Biden would be targeting Boomers with a year and a half left until the 2024 presidential election, if only because Boomers hold more wealth to help fund his campaign. But with most people assuming Trump will become the 2024 Republican presidential nominee again, Biden needs to appeal to more young people if he wants to actually defeat Trump again. And a Notes app screenshot probably isn’t the way to say you understand the needs and desires of younger Americans.

Dark Brandon merchandise on the other hand, might be just the way to reach those Millennials—a group that’s no longer “young” by any stretch of the imagination.

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