Slim Jim Ads Scream ‘Eat Me’

GoodMark Foods’ Slim Jim brand is moving beyond its long-running reliance on Randy “Macho Man” Savage in a $6-8 million TV campaign breaking nationally on June 24. Ads introduce “Slim Jim Guy,” who is fully capable of creating the same degree of havoc as the familiar wrestling icon.
Two new spots (in 30- and 45-second versions) by North Castle Partners in Stamford, Conn., show a teenager ingesting one of the sticks. The ads then cut to the Slim Jim Guy plummeting into the roiling pit of the teen’s stomach, where he proceeds to brutalize the more healthful snacks awaiting digestion.
“Beefy, spicy bully,” whines a pink muffin after Slim Jim Guy finishes drowning another snack in one of the commercials, titled “Slime and Punishment.” “You’re next, pinky,” Slim Jim Guy snarls.
Macho Man’s familiar voice is heard next, shouting the long-running tagline, “Need a little excitement? Snap into a Slim Jim!” Slim Jim Guy then pops back onto the screen with the brand’s new call to action: “Eat me.”
“We tried to leverage all the personality traits of Macho Man and focus on the product, front and center, without losing that attitude and irreverence,” said Jeff Slater, marketing director of GoodMark in Raleigh, N.C. “It’s such a pure representation of the world of Slim Jim. You get to buddy up to him and find out what he’s all about.”
The spots were directed by Tim Rolt, best known for the short films he has done for the British Broadcasting Corp. in London. Rolt was selected for his frenetic technique at a time when other marketers have begun to ape the aggressive, in-your-face style associated with Slim Jim advertising. “We knew that’s where we want to go,” said copywriter Steve Mark. “We don’t need to show a beauty shot” of the product any more.
North Castle executive vice president Grant MacDonald said the “Eat me” call to action had been cleared with the networks as acceptable to air on teen programming. Hal Rosen served as creative director; Steve Garbett handled art direction.