Strongbow is in your neighbourhood, pushing cans of boozy apple juice down your kids' throats. At least, that's the image conjured up after British Olympics chiefs were criticised for allowing cider company Strongbow to sponsor Team GB at the Rio Olympics. The Alcohol Health Alliance blasted the decision, stating that Strongbow's sponsorship would "promote the idea of drinking in our young people".
For their part, Strongbow said "Our partnership is exclusively focused on the adult fans who will be cheering on Team GB over the next two weeks. Strongbow will not be sold or promoted at Games venues, feature in TV coverage, or be linked to any individual member of Team GB."
But is the complaint valid? In the name of research, we took to the streets to find out if the sponsorship could really mean we're more likely to get pissed.
VICE: Does Strongbow sponsoring the Olympics make you want to get pissed?
Actually, it makes me want to stay healthy, partly because I don't like Strongbow. It just reminds me of really bad nights out where your mates have scrimped on the booze and brought Strongbow and Glenn's Vodka and stuff. You wake up the next day feeling horrible.
So you're an #eatclean kind of guy.
Well, my mum's been vegan for 30 years so I only really eat unhealthily when I go out. So about 80 percent of the time, I'm eating pretty healthy anyway. I guess probably that's my natural inclination.
Do you care about the idea of a drinks company sponsoring Team GB?
I think it's a bit hypocritical. It's almost like a tobacco company sponsoring vaping. The ironic catch 22 kind of situation where they keep you hooked on these things. Partly because it's also so easy to get pissed on cheap alcohol. It never ends well. You always end up hating yourself for four days afterwards.
So Strongbow is sponsoring Team GB. Thoughts?
It seems a bit of a weird choice considering it's always about athletics and health. It's summer so I can understand. Cider, summer, Olympics summer: that's probably why they thought it'd be a good idea. In terms of cider, I used to work in the trade, it's not the most popular of drinks, is it really? You've got your Kopparbergs and Rekorderligs and all those kind of things. That's probably a reason why. It's not the company I would have thought of when I thought of Team GB sponsor.
Does it make you want to have a drink?
Thinking about it, you've had breweries sponsoring the cricket team, Carling obviously support the Premier League so I can understand why they're kind of doing that. And obviously because it's summer, days like this when you want to go out after work, have a cider, chill out with friend, have a barbecue that kind of thing. It kind of reminds me of when I went to the Olympic Games in 2012. Even though you're watching the sports, it's a summer day, we love the summer, don't we? And we love a drink or two so it makes me want to get drunk, I'm not going to lie.
Strongbow… first choice?
Not going to lie, no. But if I go to the pub and there was a pint of Strongbow I won't say no. Cider's the drink of the summer so whatever's going.
Strongbow are sponsoring Team GB. What do you think?
Well hopefully they like Strongbow because they're going to get pissed on it. After not before! Obviously they got any sponsor they could get hold of. How it's linked to sport is a bit of a controversial one. Why not? It's great advertising for Strongbow. It's not intrinsic to their training regime.
Will it be effective though?
If people are going to drink, they're going to drink anyway, regardless of whether it's blasted in their face. It's not got any influence at all. Obviously the more you blast a product in someone's face, the more they're going to remember it. They're going to drink anyway. It doesn't matter if it's on the chest of a guy running around a track.
Does Strongbow's sponsorship of Team GB make you want to get drunk?
If you meet up with your friends and watch the Olympics, then of course you'll be like "let's get drunk". That usually happens when I meet up with my friends.
One's a drinks company, one is a sports competition. Is this a good fit?
It makes sense from Strongbow's point of view, as people drink while watching the Olympics. Everything comes down to money. Everyone wants to sell everything therefore it's always going to go to the highest bidder. I think it's business.
Does it make you want to get pissed?
I don't have any emotional reaction to Strongbow sponsoring the Olympics. I feel pretty indifferent about it.
What do you think about a cider company sponsoring Team GB?
If you've got the right money, they'll just take it. They don't care about the brand or what they stand for.
Does it make you want to get pissed?
There's more positive influences within the Olympics. The athletes, rather than the alcohol. You want to aspire to be Usain Bolt, chasing your dreams. You'd rather admire the athletes' bodies and dedication and stay in shape than go down to the shop and getting a six pack of Strongbow. If I could live in the gym all day and stay in shape, then I'd love to. Life isn't like that for the everyday person.
So you're not going to pick up a can of Strongbow when you watch Team GB?
Oh no. I hate it anyway.
Does the Strongbow sponsorship make you want to get pissed?
I just like to have a sip of it. I never want to get drunk after seeing an advert.
Not even a cider?
Definitely, maybe a little sip. Not a whole drink!
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