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William Waiirua is the Face of Responsible Drinking Campaign

6 March 2018

Social Media Sensation William Waiirua is the Face of a New Responsible Drinking Campaign

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.

Today, the first part of the social media series launches. 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," says 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 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."

The campaign is set to launch in Dunedin on Wednesday 7 March with a host of activity around town including an appearance by William Waiirua in the Tui Catch Zone at the one-day cricket match between the Black Caps and England. William Waiirua followers are encouraged to listen to The Edge radio station for Graze and Liaise opportunities with William Waiirua and The Edge Road Runner team around Dunedin on Wednesday.


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