Guy Williams has literally become the (disembodied) face of responsible drinking in New Zealand as part the second stage of DraftFCB's 'Say Yeah, Nah' campaign for the Health Promotion Agency from last year.
Launched on 24 February, the new phase of the campaign has been released via several variations of billboards, street posters, adshels and in-bar media, which feature Guy Williams' face giving advice to Kiwi men and women about moderate imbibing.
In addition to featuring the now ubiquitous 'No more beersies' line, the campaign has also introduced the catchphrase 'They're saying no to the winesies,' which is targeted specifically at women.
And in an effort to show that rejection based on over-drinking applies to both sexes, DraftFCB has also created a similar poster that's targeted at men.
Given that comedians spend much of their careers performing in bars and clubs, Williams wouldn't necessarily be the most obvious choice for a responsible drinking campaign, but DraftFCB account director Sarah Raine believes the right choice was made.
"He's popular, likeable and committed to the cause. And he's very funny. He resonates well with our target audience and achieves good cut-through for the message," she says.
Interestingly, in a previous interview with StopPress Williams applauded advertisers for their ability to write catchphrases and singled out 'no more beersies' as a line that Kiwi comedians sometimes used.
"Comedians could learn from advertisers how to write a catchphrase. It’s amazing how effective they are and they’ve become so out of fashion with comedians. Yet, every time someone spills a drink in a comedy club, the comedian will steal the 'no more beersies for you' line from the advertisers and it will be the biggest laugh of the night," he said.
But his willingness to become involved in the campaign is based on more than his admiration for advertising's witty catchphrases; it also has a personal aspect to it.
"This is the first time I’ve been offered an ad that isn’t a beer commercial (I’ve had to turn all the beer commercials down). I am a man of very few principles but one of them is that I didn’t want to advertise booze. Drinking problems run in my family (haha my family hate it when I say that) and so to be part of a campaign that directly addresses New Zealand’s drinking culture is both a privilege and an honor," he says.
Despite Williams' comfort in front of the lens, Raine says there are no plans at this stage to produce a new TVC starring the comedian.