COM0014 – Blog #4 – What the heck is going on with Slim Jim – a case study

In a world of traditionally nontraditional media, Slim Jim has taken an extremely unpredictable turn to cater to a narrow audience: namely, Generation Z.

All memes all the time

In a digital world where most businesses and brands will focus on product and occasionally post memes or other high-engagement content, Slim Jim takes the approach of posting mostly memes on both their Instagram and Twitter.

The Slim Jim lore began as the company took notice of an amateur Slim Jim fan account, posting memes similar to the ones now found on their official page. Instead of sending a cease and desist, the company hired this memer to grow their audience on social media. It worked. Quickly. Slim Jim’s Instagram account currently sits at 1.3 million.


In addition to their unusual Instagram account, Slim Jim can be found commenting on OTHER meme pages. Of course, as aligned with their feed, their comments don’t have much to do with their product, but aid in building a personality brand identity.

Image via Pubity Instagram

The reception to Slim Jim’s outreach is mixed. Some find their comments slightly out of touch, and as research suggests, Gen Z has a penchant for seeking out and destroying brands that they find inauthentic.

That being said, their fierce fandom, called the “Long Boy Gang,” has sparked merchandise partnerships with designer fashion brands and respect and admiration from other aspiring brands.

Image via Tipsy Elves

More than meat-iocre

In my opinion, Slim Jim is moving in a positive direction. For a brand that’s a household name for most Generation X’s and Baby Boomers, they are achieving what I assume to be their main goal of being accessible in gas stations for those who wouldn’t think to follow a jerky stick on social media, while appealing to a younger audience.

As a brand that seems to keep their finger on the pulse, it will be interesting to see if they are able to maintain that persona online for years to come.

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