In case you haven’t seen the increasingly and charmingly bizarre social media campaign in which Michael Cera claims he’s the founding father of well-loved skin-care brand CeraVe, I’ll summarize (though that won’t sufficiently capture the Michael Cera-ness of it all): On January 22, an influencer “spotted” him signing bottles of CeraVe at a Brooklyn drugstore, and “paparazzi” snapped photos of him handing out CeraVe products to passersby on the sidewalk. A couple of days later, he did an interview with a podcaster, keeping a straight face as he insisted the “Cera” in CeraVe is a reference to him, not the skin-care ingredient ceramides, as the brand’s advertising has always highlighted. This, of course, was all made to look as if Cera had gone rogue, but relatively savvy consumers could tell there was an irreverent marketing team behind the curtain.
This became more apparent on February 5 with the release of a video in which dermatologist Muneeb Shah, DO, (who is a CeraVe partner) gently grills Cera about his skin-care knowledge. And then, on February 6, came the commercial (shown below), more dramatic than a 1980s fragrance ad, in which Cera pushes “his” moisturizer — though the brand claimed that he funded the spot himself.
For the past three weeks, CeraVe has been so committed to the bit that it even put out a statement on Instagram denying Cera’s association with the brand, and its PR reps have been reluctant to share any information with Allure that would reveal CeraVe was in on the joke the whole time — though a February 7 New York Times interview with the president of the advertising agency that created the campaign let that cat out of the bag. (Kudos to you if the timing of all these bits was never lost on you. You can expect it to come to a well-moisturized head during the Super Bowl on February 11, as that reporting also revealed.)
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