CHICAGO: Andy Hines, who helped create Slim Jim’s voice on social media, has died.
He was 35 and died on May 6, according to a GoFundMe page set up for his family.
A spokesperson for Slim Jim parent Conagra Brands told PRWeek in an emailed statement that the company is is “incredibly saddened” by Hines’ passing and noted that he was a big part of the Slim Jim team and was “instrumental” in building the Long Boi Gang.
Hines coined the nickname "Long Bois" for Slim Jims and fans are part of the "Long Boi Gang," Spencer Fivelson, brand director of the protein snacking group at Conagra Brands, told PRWeek in a previous interview.
"He has created this all-inclusive culture, where everyone is welcome," said Fivelson. "We have people come and say, ‘I’m a vegan, so I don’t eat Slim Jims, but can I be in the gang?’ And we say, ‘Absolutely, you’re in the gang.’ The answer is always, ‘Yes, you’re in the gang.’"
A spokesperson told PRWeek on Sunday that the Long Boi Gang has “always been a team effort fueled by the love and support of the community. We will continue the journey that [Hines] helped to spark as a tribute to him, the community he loved and the creativity and humor he brought us every day.”
In an Instagram post on Saturday, Slim Jim wrote about Hines’ death.
“Andy’s incredible humor was matched only by how much he loved you and all the joy it brought him to see the Long Boi Gang thrive,” the post said. “I will honor him by doing what we always did best, giving the Gang something to smile about. Always keep Andy in your heart, we will laugh again…together. Rest In Peace Andy.”
View this post on Instagram
Gang, by now you’ve heard the news that our original Long Boi, Andy Hines, has passed away. Andy and I only wanted one thing for the Gang - to laugh together. Andy’s incredible humor was matched only by how much he loved you and all the joy it brought him to see the Long Boi Gang thrive. I will honor him by doing what we always did best, giving the Gang something to smile about. Always keep Andy in your heart, we will laugh again…together. Rest In Peace Andy.
Slim Jim became aware of Hines after it noticed in 2018 that an Instagram account he manned, @SlimJimsDoingThings, had 15,000 followers. His account targeted Slim Jim using an "irreverent voice and meme culture" to get a conversation going, explained Fivelson.
At the time, Slim Jim’s Instagram account only had 5,000 followers. Slim Jim got in touch with Hines and he joined its agency BIOS, which handles social media and real-time listening for the snack brand, as content manager.
Unofficially, Slim Jim gave Hines the tongue-in-cheek title of "chief doing things officer" for the brand. Hines then started managing Slim Jim’s social media pages and even appeared in some of the brand’s posts. It was not immediately clear if he was still handling social for the brand at the time of his death.