Jack Link's Starts Beef With Slim Jim In National Appeal To Gen Z


There’s no shortage of feuds in contemporary culture, from rappers trading diss tracks to insults in halls of Congress. Meat snack brand Jack Link’s wants in on the shade-serving and is stirring up some beef with rival Slim Jim in a national “Feed Your Wild Side” campaign aimed at convincing a Gen Z audience to reach for the brand’s meat sticks instead.

A series of social media and OOH activations promote the brand’s “Wild” meat sticks, positioning the brand as a superior, adventurous choice in the meat stick category. The campaign debuted on TikTok last week, with an approach dedicated to “wild content: from found footage and live action to anime.”

Another common thread across much of the campaign, created in collaboration with agency partner Milestone Integrated Marketing, is some not-so-subtle shade thrown at category competitor Slim Jim. One spot stirs up beef with the meat stick mainstay, for example, with a retro approach imploring “kids today” to “stay away” from “Jimbo’s” dubious meat sticks.



A billboard hijacks that competitors’ well known slogan with the line, "Snap into a… 'life-changing meat stick.' The installments are accompanied by mobile billboards designed to fuel reactions, calling on audiences to "Find it, snap a picture and tag @JackLinksWILD before 'some Jim makes us take it down.”

"Gen Z's preferences are clear: they demand authenticity, and connect with brands that play outside the lines," Stacy Barr, partner at Milestone Integrated, said in a statement. "A social-first strategy is a natural fit for [the campaign]— to meet them where they're setting the rules.”

The campaign strategy will continue to evolve in reaction to real-time feedback, while inviting and incentivizing audience participation through user-generated content, along with summer sampling events at college towns.

"Nearly fifty percent of our customers start with a meat stick as their first purchase. It's their 'on ramp' to jerky and as the leader in the category, we plan to own this segment, too," Jack Link’s Holly LaVallie, senior vice president marketing,  said in a statement.

"But ['Feed Your Wild Side']  is about more than product. It's about embracing good times; defying the boring; finding adventure; and feeding their individual wild side,”  LaVallie said, adding that the brand’s agency partner led an approach designed to deliver "that message in a way that disrupts and challenges the category,” and sparks a “highly engaged” audience.

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