Make Apps Great Again: Tech Firms Use Donald Trump to Market Their Products

Parody hats and Trump quizzes all appear at the United States' largest startup event.

It’s hard to escape news about Donald Trump. Around every corner, it seems like there’s always a discussion going on about a new statement the Republican frontrunner has made. Tech startups have gotten wise, and sought to exploit the controversial candidate for his marketing.

Purpose, a progressive startup focused on helping social movements, has created a website that promises to work out how much Trump will like you based on eight questions. promises to help users “understand your risks and opportunities under a President Trump,” “compare your Free Trump Score with friends and celebrities” and “avoid unexpected deportation.” Questions cover ethnic background, sexual orientation, and the size of the user’s hands.

Attendees to the TechDay startup conference in New York City on Thursday were invited to participate in the quiz. The goal, according to Purpose’s senior strategist JJ Emru, was to attract attendees over with the quiz, then explain to them the work Purpose does.

“Over time, we’re gonna build this out and have more calls to action, like ‘register to vote,’ ‘turn out to vote,’” Emru told Inverse. “At this point we’re not taking a stance on a particular candidate. At a certain point we probably will, and that’ll be the goal, to get people to turn out and vote against someone like Donald Trump.”

Mike Brown/Inverse

At the same conference, retail website builder Brickwork was on hand to demonstrate the sites built for high-fashion.

Much like Trump’s promise to “make America great again,” Brickwork has a promise of its own:

Mike Brown/Inverse

I spoke to Danielle Tiso, who co-ordinates Brickwork’s sales and operations, just after noon. Most of the hats were already gone by then. Tiso had to ask visitors taking pictures with the remaining two hats to leave them behind so others could take photos.

Tiso said that the CEO had the idea very early on in Trump’s campaign. “I thought about it this morning, when I was bringing in the hats. I thought, is it not funny any more?,” she said. “It’s just a very iconic article of clothing. People still find it funny, we’re just bringing our brand into that.”

“This is just kind of to get some attention, to talk to people, is really what we’re trying to do,” Tiso said. “I can’t tell you how many people have stopped by, just like ‘oh my god, that hat’s great!’”

These aren’t the first startups to use Trump in their promotional material. Canadian startup Sortable wrote a blog post back in March enticing U.S. tech workers to consider joining the firm in the case of a Trump presidency.

“Now, while we don’t think Americans will actually move en masse to Canada if the election doesn’t go their way, we do want to extend an offer,” the company announced. “Because it’s the polite, Canadian thing to do.”

If Trump secures the Republican nomination, companies may opt to distance themselves from a presidential candidate. It could happen sooner.

Tiso said that TechDay would “probably be the last time” Brickwork takes the hats to an event.

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