How To Parallel Slim Jim’s AWard-Winning Ad Results

For your email subscribers to respond to your emails, you have to send the content they want. This does not entirely depend on you writing good content.

It also depends on attracting the right subscribers. Not more subscribers, you notice, but the right ones.

Are you sending information that makes it clear who exactly your business is for, filled with content for that group and for only that group?

Slim Jim did such a first-rate job of marketing to exactly their target demographic that they won 2013’s ARF David Ogilvy Research Achievement Award.

Slim Jim Knows Who’s Buying

The Slim Jim brand has mostly been a hit with young men. ConAgra’s goal with this commercial, according to Business Wire, was to maintain their customer base with their usual irreverent humor, while also following fans aging out of their usual demographic into the realm of adulthood.

Take a look:



In their commercial, ConAgra leveraged the idea that men want to be “manly.” The direct message here is that eating Slim Jims will make you more of a man.

ConAgra didn’t try to also appeal to, say, senior law partners or the health-conscious, organic crowd. And you could argue that the Slim Jim brand lost a lot of business by excluding those groups.

But honestly, if this ad were designed to appeal to everyone, it wouldn’t have been powerful for anyone.

Replicating The Method

Consider what appeals only (or especially) to your audience.

If you don’t have enough detail on your target audience already, find out as much as you can. Follow them on Twitter, read their blogs, read what they read. Try on their perspective like a pair of tinted glasses.

Once you’re sure you understand their mindset, sketch out or write up a “user profile,” a character that epitomizes your audience.

You obviously don’t need to put them into a commercial like the ad above, but stick them on your computer, your office bulletin board, anywhere you’ll see while you’re working. Then when you write an email or post on Facebook, write to them, and you’ll be targeting the audience you want.

What’s Next?

Recently, we analyzed how Mikey helped Quaker Oats’ Life Cereal get in front of its target audience.

Next, we’ll look at the ad that won awards for adding spice to a brand’s image. (If you haven’t signed up for these posts as emails yet, now’s a good time; you don’t want to miss the next in this series!)