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New Technology to Help Encourage Responsible Drinking

For immediate release
Wednesday 27 September 2017

New Technology to Help Encourage Responsible Drinking

A Chatbot that sends messages to users from their ‘sober self’ reminding them to go home at the time they originally planned and to hydrate and eat food presents a new approach to tackling Kiwis’ irresponsible drinking habits.

A joint initiative from responsible drinking campaign, Cheers! and ridesharing app, Uber, the Facebook Messenger-run Bot aims to help people better plan for a safe and fun night out, by setting up a time to go home with a personal reminder message, before they begin drinking alcohol.

Users can create their own personal message – or rely on the bot’s own pre-programmed messages. The Bot also reminds its users to drink water and eat food while out to help prompt responsible drinking behaviours. Punters can be rewarded with discounted Uber rides if they go home at the time they originally set for themselves.

“Many of us have had a situation where our best intentions to go home early were forgotten once we were out having a few drinks with friends,” says Matt Claridge, spokesperson for the Cheers! campaign.

“The Sober Self Bot brings to life that original idea you had so that you can remind yourself of those plans. Maybe it’s that you wanted to get up early to go to the gym, or take the kids out for a bike ride, or catch up with mates.

“We’re hoping to engage with people, particularly young New Zealanders, through a channel they use every day to help them make better choices while out drinking. And what better person to remind you to get home than your ‘sober self’?”

The Bot is part of a broader multi-media campaign – the first in the new partnership between Cheers! and Uber – based on the idea of planning a ‘Night to Remember’. The campaign includes outdoor posters, digital advertising and social media and will officially launch on tomorrow night’s Jono and Ben Show (TV 3, Thursday, 7.30pm).

“By providing a safe and reliable ride at the push of a button – no matter the time or place – we can help Kiwis make better choices when they’re ready to call it a night,” says Richard Menzies, Uber New Zealand General Manager.

“The Sober Self Bot is all about taking this a step further, and giving Kiwis a fun and easy way to keep themselves honest when the peer pressure to stay for another round kicks in.”

To sign up to the Bot, go to Facebook Messenger and search for Sober Self Bot.


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