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Don't drink and fry message spread far and wide

While at first glance the Fire Service and Hell Pizza might seem an unlikely pair, they've teamed up to put the ‘Don’t drink and fry’ message on more than a million pizza boxes and 100,000 scratch-and-win tickets to be distributed in hospitality areas at night over the next two months.

“For 15 years our packaging hasn’t changed and because of that it’s instantly identifiable as our brand,” said Hell Pizza’s Stu McMullin, "so we got a bit twitchy initially about making such a fundamental design change that could potentially compromise that.

“But we believed in the importance of the message and wanted to work with the Fire Service by telling this story to our customers.”

The Fire Service and M&C Saatchi have also launched a couple of fairly unique campaigns in the same vein, one featuring revellers after a big night out discussing the perils of drinking and frying, and another reminding the thousands of rugby fans from around the world – many of whom will be touring the country in campervans – of the hazards of drunk cooking and lighting candles with a few remixes of classic country hits.

‘Words from the Wise’ features a few well-lubricated folks at the end of a big night slurring away; all of the hearty revellers interviewed had been drinking and were spotted eating on the street. So M&C Saatchi and production company Double Cove simply stopped to ask them this question: “What advice would they give to people in their state who are considering going home for a fry-up?”

“The answers were honest, slightly garbled and often hilarious,” said M&C Saatchi’s Darryn Melrose. “They’re real words from the wise, wise because they have chosen to get a feed before heading home. And they’re presented in a way that you won’t soon forget.”

Four TVCs are being broadcast nationwide and shared on YouTube. And posters with real quotes from the panini advocates, pizza scoffers and kebab munchers are also being installed around the country.

Mike Hall, national commander of the Fire Service, said the stars of the new TV campaign haven’t necessarily been engaged in sensible drinking, but they are certainly involved in sensible eating.

And given alcohol is involved in 50 percent of all fatal house fires and most of those involve guys coming home from the pub, putting the frypan on and falling asleep, that makes them fire-wise in his book.

“This is a fantastic way to reach a huge number of Kiwi’s with a life saving message and that has to be a winner,” Hall said.

One thing’s for sure: the local purveyors of fine takeaways will be loving the endorsement.

This story originally appeared on StopPress.