Political parties trying to connect with young people: it’s the hardest game in the world. Anyone who remembers Gordon Brown’s apparent love of the Arctic Monkeys knows the feeling.
So it must have been with some trepidation that the Conservative Party set up a special web page to advertise a free giveaway of Love Island-themed water bottles.
Contestants on the reality TV monster, which concludes tonight, are often seen sipping from the receptacles, so a tie-in seems reasonably timed.
But there’s something special about these bottles, as the site stated.
“Yeah that’s right - we’re giving away Love Island water bottles for the final (obviously). Some with a political twist ...”
The reveal is the phrase ‘Don’t let Corbyn mug you off’ emblazoned on the bottle.
This seems to refer to ‘mug’ as both something that appears in the young person’s vernacular and a device for drinking water from. Though who drinks water from a mug?
And it was on Instagram too.
The reaction was, well, mixed.
What was likely a simple trawl for data on potential young voters became a tone deaf ‘how do you do, fellow kids?’ future meme.
Later, the Love Island connection appeared to have been dropped.
The words ‘Love Island’ have disappeared from the copy and the url - but confusingly the phrase ‘big finale’ remains.
An ITV spokesperson said: “We note that the Conservative Party have changed the wording on their competition and are no longer calling them Love Island water bottles.”
So less a Love Island-themed water bottle giveaway, and more a ‘have a free water bottle’ apropos of nothing.