An evil, rapping sugar cube warns of sugar’s hidden dangers in new musical PSA from non-profit Hip Hop Public Health.
The sugar cube, voiced by Run DMC hip-hop singer Darryl McDaniels, appears in a full-length video from Interpublic agency Area 23, rapping about how sugar can disguise itself in an array of different names and can be found hidden in different foods. This is illustrated by the sugar cube (who sports one rotten tooth) appearing in a range of different costumes and guises; in fact, when we first encounter him, he's trying to put on a sugar-sweet voice to mask his true evil rasp, a book on acting spotted behind him.
The original song also contains plenty of lyrics explaining how sugar lurks in your food, making you crave it and leading to diabetes and obesity. The animation is by Zombie Studios.
As well as rapping in the music video, this super-creepy character (who reminds us somewhat of Ryan Reynolds' Sugar Panda in his ads for High Key) is part of a wider campaign, which includes an accompanying website, an interactive app, and a children’s book, "Lil Sugar Master of Disguise." The book features a foreword by Dr. Olajide Williams, founder of Hip Hop Public Health, who is associate dean of community research and engagement and tenured professor of neurology at Columbia University, and chief of staff of the department of neurology at NewYork Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center.
“Childhood obesity continues to be one of the most pressing health issues facing young people and COVID-19 has magnified it,” said Dr. Williams in a statement. “The goal of Lil Sugar is to arm parents, children, educators and the general public with the tools they need to be aware of and take action against the harmful consequences of consuming too much sugar."
The new character was designed to "resonate with both parents and children,” added Tim Hawkey, chief creative officer of Area 23. “Working with a legend like DMC enables the campaign to reach key audiences, particularly those in communities that have been economically/socially marginalized, and to do so in a fun and engaging way.”