OK hands up – who enjoys a few light beverages when out with friends? Yep, my hand’s up too. And I’ve certainly had my times when ‘eating’s cheating’ has meant I’ve come home very much the worse for wear. It’s never a great idea after the fact – which is why I’m loving this new initiative between Cheers NZ, Foodstuffs (NZ) and former youth worker-turned social media personality William Waiirua.
William is using his huge profile to drive home a vital responsible drinking message – to eat while drinking alcohol. He’s out to subvert the old adage that ‘eating’s cheating’ with a new message for New Zealanders to ‘Always Graze When You Liaise’.
The face of the campaign William Waiirua worked his charm at the Dunedin Oval during the heart-stopping one day cricket match between England and the Black Caps, giving out free food vouchers and picking two lucky fans to try their luck in a catch competition to win PAK’nSAVE vouchers. Before and after the game Waiirua gave out free bacon butties to locals at four locations around the city.
The launch kicked off a month-long social media video clip series where William Waiirua acts out common Kiwi social drinking scenarios to share the ‘Always Graze When You Liaise’ message, as well as taking part in a series of Q&As with emergency medical specialist Dr Paul Quigley.
“This campaign is not about me telling you with whom, how often, how much, with what and where you liaise,” says William Waiirua.
“It’s about showcasing Kiwi occasions and offering ideas on how you can Always Graze When You Liaise.”
Cheers NZ spokesman Matt Claridge says the campaign is targeted at driving behavioural change across a new generation of Kiwi drinkers.
“It’s no longer cool to encourage unsocial drinking habits, like not eating. Our goal is to change the way Kiwis approach drinking alcohol to ensure good habits like eating, keeping hydrated, pacing yourself, knowing what a standard drink looks like and planning your night to get home safely are formed early.
“William Waiirua is the perfect front person to share this message with New Zealanders through his ability to connect with people in a fun and entertaining manner.”
Brendon Lawry, CEO, Liquorland, says the campaign speaks to Foodstuffs’ desire to educate Kiwis on how to drink responsibly.
“For the first time a New Zealand retailer has created a socially driven responsible drinking campaign that challenges Kiwis to think about the way we consume alcohol. The co-operative has partnered with Cheers NZ and William Waiirua, to create this powerful responsible drinking initiative.
“Food goes with alcohol – it’s a logical and responsible combination – and needs to be front of mind when people are planning for a social occasion.”