If, for whatever reason, you find yourself feeling guilty about drinking a beer at the bar, you now have good reason to keep on keepin' on-and that reason is Matt Damon. Stay with me here. For every Stella Artois bottle or draught sold through the end of April, the brand will donate one month of clean water to one person in the developing world.
The donation is made through Water.org, an organization committed to fighting the global water crisis co-founded by Matt Damon and Gary White. Matt wants you to drink a Stella this weekend. He needs you to do so! Capiche?
We spoke to Matt and Gary ahead of World Water Day, on Friday, March 22. Here's what they had to say about the partnership, how you can help, and whether Matt will be pulling a Sarah Jessica Parker and doing a commercial.
Partnering Up With Stella
Earlier this year, Matt appeared in a Super Bowl ad for Stella announcing the campaign. Starting in January, Stella began donating 12 months of clean water per 12-pack sold. This isn't the first time they've teamed up, though.
"Gary and I like to use a dating metaphor," Matt said. "We had a one-year deal with Stella, and neither of us were quite sure about the other one. We were excited but we were cautious. Then we had another one-year deal, and then we were completely in love and got married. It’s just been incredible...we couldn’t ask for better partners."
On the Return of Carrie Bradshaw
Of this year's super bowl commercials, one of the most memorable was Stella's, which featured Jeff Bridges ditching The Dude's signature White Russian and Sarah Jessica Parker ditching Carrie's classic Cosmo in favor of a Stella Artois. If you were surprised to see them, you're not the only one.
"I think any actor who has one character like that in their career that is that iconic would naturally be somewhat protective over that character," Matt says of SJP and Jeff Bridges' involvement. "Both of them totally bought into this and went, 'no no, I totally get it and I want to help.' And obviously it couldn’t happen without their willingness to do that, so it was just really a beautiful thing to see."
Matt's not saying no to reviving one of his own characters, "you never know," but for now, he's happy to let Carrie and the Dude's iconic drinks speak for themselves.
Matt and Gary have been working together for more than 10 years. During that time, they've reached 17 million people who didn't previously have regular access to clean, safe water. By 2023, their goal is to reach 60 million people. Through their Stella partnership, they've made even more of a dent. And while there are more than 800 million people who are still in need, Matt says he and Gary are proud of the success they've made and are eager to continue scaling.
How You Can Help
Buy a chalice! Through the end of the year, Stella will donate the equivalent of five years of clean water to an individual in the developing world for every chalice sold. In the next couple weeks, order a Stella at the bar or purchase a six- or 12-pack at the grocery store; tag #PourItForward while you're at it.
Also, spread the word to your friends and family. "Once you find out how big a crisis this is and yet how solvable it is, we feel like people almost naturally can get in line with it," Gary says.
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