New Change4Life campaign illustrates the Sugar Cube Invaders harming your kids 

Sian Bradley's picture
by Sian Bradley
Sugar Cube Invaders

Public Health England have launched a new campaign to highlight the growing problem of children's sweet tooths. 

The Change4Life campaign features ‘Sugar Cube Invaders' to illustrate how by the time they reach the age of ten, children have already ate more sugar than the recommended level for an 18-year-old.

"Just one little sugar cube, surely this can't really hurt?" a child’s voice asks as the ad begins.

The lone animated sugar cube suddenly multiples into a swarm of eight attacking monsters, to showcase how kids are statistically eating twice the amount of sugar as they should - which equates to eight excess sugar cubes each day.


Change4Life Sugarcube Invaders ad

The campaign, which cost PHE £2.4m and is aimed at at families with children aged 5 to 11 years old, urges parents to “make a swap when you next shop”, and choose healthier snacks with a lower sugar content.

Sheila Mitchell, director of marketing at Public Health England, said: “By offering simple and trusted advice, Change4Life has helped millions of families to lead healthier lives for more than a decade.

“This, combined with innovative technology and bold content, has helped to drive meaningful behaviour change while establishing Change4Life as the government’s flagship health brand,” she added.

The sugarcubes, which invade teeth and guts to show how they can cause painful tooth decay and diseases like Type 2 Diabetes, were animated by Aardman.

Heather Wright, executive director partner content at the firm, explained the creative thinking behind the ad: “We’re proud to have been animating these beloved characters for Change4Life over the past ten years as part of important campaigns which families trust, and who then make healthier choices as a result.

"This year, for the first time, we meet the nasty Sugar Cube Invaders who bring to life the harms of having too much sugar. Characterising the sugar cubes in this way gives people a memorable visual metaphor which we hope will inspire people to change their behaviour and make a swap next time they shop,” she added.

PHE have struggled to find footing with their anti-sugar campaigning; The organisation had called for a 20% reduction in sugar content by 2020, and a 5% cut by April 2018. Yet, a report published in May said manufacturers and supermarkets had managed only 2%. Yoghurts, breakfast cereals and sweet spreads were the only food groups to achieve a 5% reduction.