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Cheers' Innovative Chatbot Recognised at United Nations

Wednesday July 25, 2018

Responsible drinking chatbot – the Sober Self Bot – that helps users plan for a safer night out by reminding them to go home at the time they originally planned was in the spotlight at a United Nations exhibition in New York this month.

The International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD) chose the Sober Self Bot – a joint campaign from Cheers! and ride service Uber – as part of the exhibition ‘Changing Attitudes’, which ran at the United Nations, in conjunction with the High Level Political Forum held recently with delegates from 20 United Nations Missions present, alongside more than 20 United Nations agencies.

The ‘Changing Attitudes’ campaign aims to create a movement for positive change by showcasing innovative campaigns and successful partnerships from around the world aimed at combatting harmful drinking. The New Zealand initiative was highlighted as a successful behaviour change initiative.

“Campaigns like the Sober Self Bot demonstrate how a well-planned and targeted partnership is more than a branding exercise, it goes to the heart of increasing reach and impact in an audience we are clear about supporting to change their behaviours,” says Matt Claridge, spokesman for Cheers!

“The Sober Self Bot has attracted global interest for its innovative ability to engage audiences to use – and reuse – technology as a support to go home at the time they planned to avoid those feelings of shame and regret the next day. In its initial launch period we saw 13,000 sign ups – with more than 60% repeat users.

“Our innovative approach to behaviour change campaigns has now been noted amongst UN missions and their agencies.”

Launched last year, the Facebook Messenger-run chatbot allows users to set up a message from their ‘sober self’ reminding them to go home at the time they originally planned (and hydrate and eat food) along with being encouraged by a discounted Uber ride. The bot has won several awards for its creative use of technology.

Mr Claridge was also invited to join the ‘Changing Attitudes’ panel discussion on the role of private and public partnerships in behavioural change, chaired by Hon Christian Paradis, ex Minister for International Development in Canada, and other notable dignitaries including the head of IARD, Henry Ashworth.

Mr Claridge says the Sober Self Bot is being enhanced ready for release in Spring.


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