William Waiirua – known for his signature dance moves, unique persona and sunglasses – is the new face of a nationwide responsible drinking campaign that encourages New Zealanders to eat while drinking alcohol. The joint initiative between Cheers NZ, Foodstuffs (NZ) Ltd and William Waiirua is 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 is former youth worker turned social media phenomenon William Waiirua, whose entertaining online presence has garnered a cult following.
The first part of the social media series has been launched. Over the coming weeks, followers can expect to see William Waiirua acting out common Kiwi social drinking scenarios as well as taking part in a series of Q and As with emergency medical specialist Dr Paul Quigley.
“The ‘Always Graze When You Liaise’ campaign fits my goal of working on socially responsible and impactful, campaigns, projects and messages,” said William Waiirua.
“This campaign is not about me telling you with whom, how often, how much, with what and where you liaise, it is about showcasing Kiwi occasions and offering ideas on how you can Always Graze When You Liaise.”
Cheers NZ spokesman Matt Claridge said 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," said Claridge.
“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, said 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," said Lawry.
“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.”