Manhattan came to a standstill in March last year, when Tommy Marcus launched the Instagram meme page Quentin Quarantino (@quentin.quarantino), which now has 654k Followers. “I made people laugh at difficult times,” Marcus recalled during a Zoom call with Advertisement Shout earlier this week. Starting from a meme page, it is now a platform that can oppose social injustice and raise funds to solve serious social problems. During this period, Marcus witnessed his personal transformation from a meme artist to a prolific fundraiser. He is currently raising funds for the COVID-19 crisis in India and said he has raised more than Rs. The damage caused was 330 million rupees. We caught up with Tommy Marcus and talked about his profile, life and fundraising plans.
When talking about his motivation to raise funds for India, he said: “I am comparing with the situation in India and the United States, what happened here a few months before the COVID, the leader’s comparison, [them] Not listening to science… At that time I kind of decided to give up the humor on my website for a few weeks to raise funds for India. “
“The only thing that keeps these fundraising activities going is the sense of the community and the connection between the people,” Marcus added. When the conservative American radio host Rush Limbaugh died in February of this year, Marcus raised more than $1 million (approximately Rs 7.3 crore) and donated it to the plan Planned Parenthood. “The Rush Limbaugh project helped me realize the potential of followers to do a good thing,” Marcus said with a smile.
Marcus said that about 5% of Quentin Quarantino’s fans are from India. “It’s sad that the government cannot take care of the people. There is a sense of privilege around me that makes me feel like I want to do something for India after reading some articles about what happened there. My followers and I mainly represent the American people. Raised the money. Now we are in a safe place. I have been vaccinated. The situation in the United States is getting better. But to see the same cycle that happened last year, happening elsewhere. What happened in India is for all of us It’s almost unpredictable at home… I won’t say it’s like an obligation. I feel I really want to do something for the people there. It really pushed me in this direction.” Marcus Say.
When asked how he made sure he chose a legal organization to raise funds for India, he said that his first task was to ensure that the organization was not affiliated with the government. “I spent a whole day making sure I did these fundraising activities correctly. My main focus is to stay away from the government… Instagram is very helpful in making sure this happens. Read reviews, articles, comments from Indian celebrities It also helps to select the right NGOs.” In the fundraising event for the COVID-19 crisis in India, Marcus worked hand in hand with GiveIndia, a non-profit organization based in Bangalore.
“NGOs send me the latest information about how they use the funds every day, and their hands are tied together… I can’t say exact statistics, but thousands of them have been distributed with this money. Oxygen cylinder…” It’s not like sending out a one-time payment at the end of the fundraising event. The money has already been sent to charity. “Marcus said.
Trample on social space
Before starting Quentin Quarantino, Marcus ran @unhinged, a dating-based meme page on Instagram with 308k followers. @unhinged has a big corporate sponsor. But there are some restrictions on what he can post on the page. Therefore, when the lockdown occurred, he started Quentin Quarantino with the goal of opening 25 positions per day. “I have always been a very political person. All posts (on Quentin Quarantino) are derived from humor. In the following months, it has been very interesting. [US presidential] The election… But when I started to hype, I started to lose some Trump fan followers,” Marcus said.
Looking back at the changes on the page, he said: “When I started the page, I thought,’Oh my God, I will make a lot of money’. But now I’m like saying: “Oh my God, I want to change the world.”
He recalled his experience when browsing social spaces with political content: “I am a friend of many popular meme producers on Instagram… When publishing political content, many people stay away. Many people are unwilling to do anything. Controversial things. When I started posting serious content, many people started sending me messages asking if I really wanted to enter the controversial content.”
He explained: “I have never made money on a page that sells a single advertisement.” “It is difficult to describe my specific space on the Internet. But there is a lot of comfort and purpose in doing what I have been doing.”
He said he has a usual work schedule. “But there are a lot of unexpected things happening all day. I stay on Instagram for about 10 hours every day… I don’t have a future view of the page, but I think it’s good for me. Now I only need one day at a time. .” Marcus added.
The name of the page is a derivative of his favorite movie director Quentin Tarantino, with the word “isolation” on it. When asked if he wanted to tell Tarantino if he had a chance to meet him, Marcus laughed and said, “Quentin, haven’t you followed me?”