Here's How Randy Savage's Slim Jim Catchphrase Was Invented

Randy Savage is a WWE Hall of Famer who actually spent his career wrestling for that brand's predecessor, the WWF, as well as its competitors, WCW and TNA (via WWE). He was also a well-known product pitchman whose trademark catchphrase "Snap into a Slim Jim!" was first spoken by a different wrestler. 

Savage served as the voice and the face of Slim Jims from 1993 up through the turn of the millennium (via The Takeout). However, the very first commercial featuring Slim Jims' new slogan, along with their in-your-face ad campaign meant to promote their product as an edgier snack than anything else out there (with the possible exception of Shark Bites, because come on, what could be more badass than chomping down on a shark?) featured fellow future Hall of Famer The Ultimate Warrior (via YouTube).

The "Snap into a Slim Jim!" slogan, however, predated both of the men who would utter it, and the ad campaign itself, by several years. Its origin story is a surprisingly dull one since advertising, after all, is a profession far less glamorous than Mad Men would have had us believe. No matter how much fun the kayfabe storyline presented in each campaign may be, they all begin with boring old market research.

It all began with an ad man

According to Tom Leland, a writer and creative consultant with the ad agency that had the Slim Jims account back in the late '80s, one of the things focus groups liked about the product was the "snap" that comes when you bite through the casing (via The Takeout). The agency decided to build an ad campaign that centered more around the experience of eating the snack than the flavor, so Leland and other team members started tossing words back and forth to try to come up with something that would encapsulate that experience. Leland first came up with "snap into it," later expanding the phrase to "snap into a Slim Jim."

Next in the process was deciding just what "snap" meant, besides the physical sensation associated with eating a Slim Jim. The verb snap implies energy, of course, but there's also something abrupt about it which seemed to tie in well with that late '80s zeitgeist. Rude, crude comedian Sam Kinison was the ad agency's pick for the new Slim Jims' spokesman, but his lawyers didn't approve the endorsement. Instead, the agency turned to the WWF, where Warrior, as well as Macho Man, were bringing the attitude a decade before the WWE's official Attitude Era began. A bold move on behalf of the advertisers, but one that worked out well as Slim Jims suddenly got a whole lot cooler, a status they've managed to maintain to this day.