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Cheers and Uber call on tipplers to advise their future drunk selves

Cheers is encouraging New Zealanders out on the town to have conversations with their sober selves via Facebook Messenger to make sure they hydrate, eat food and go home at the time they originally planned.

Accessed via the Messenger app, the @SoberSelf chatbot sends messages to revellers from their sober self.     

Users can create their own personal message or rely on the bot’s own pre-programmed messages. Additionally, the bot also gives users advice to promote responsible drinking over the course of the night. 

The entire concept of the sober self was brought to life by the team at Rush Digital, which worked closely with True's creative crew throughout the process.    

Adding extra weight to the campaign is Uber, which reward punters 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 NZ 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."

Claridge says the campaign is designed to target New Zealanders, particularly those on the younger side, on a channel they use every day.

As someone who enjoys partaking in the odd glass of wine from time to time, True's chief creative officer Craig Pethybridge says he looks forward to seeing how his sober self helps to moderate his drinking behaviour.

“I suggested the bot might also be able to educate me on the finer points of judging a fine Pinot from an average one, however, after some discussion we determined that was clearly going to be counter-productive," Pethybridge jokes.

As an aside, it'll be interesting to see how partygoers treat their Sober Selves once they start getting messages to call it night. No doubt the sober selves in the digital world will cop a fair amount of abuse for trying to ruin a good night. What will it mean for one's psychological state if your drunk-self finds your sober-self annoying? And will you suffer text regret for telling your sober self to stay out of your life? Whatever happens during the campaign, it'll make for an interesting psychological experiment. 

This initiative is the first campaign developed for Cheers by True, and it will officially launch on Jono and Ben at 7.30pm on 29 September. Beyond the bot, the campaign will also include outdoor posters, digital advertising and social media.

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

This story first appeared at StopPress.