When it comes to capturing people’s attention, sometimes weird and unconventional pays off. And that’s exactly what happened with skin care brand CeraVe’s elaborate online marketing campaign which culminated in the brand’s first ever Super Bowl commercial. 

For weeks prior to this year’s big game, videos of Michael Cera circulated online claiming that the actor with a similar name to CeraVe was actually the founder of the L’Oreal owned skin care brand.

The multi-pronged marketing campaign unveiled over the several weeks leading up to the game, with paparazzi pictures of Cera carrying giant bags of CeraVe around, even handing some out and signing bottles. Other influencers were paid to post content speculating on the partnership between the brand and actor, as well.

During the brand’s Super Bowl commercial, the rumors were debunked – Michael Cera is not the founder of CeraVe, but he did help the brand successfully catch Gen Z’s attention.


Looking at QuestBrand by The Harris Poll data, CeraVe made significant gains in familiarity among Gen Z adults, even spiking to the brand’s highest level yet after their Super Bowl LVIII commercial.

Familiarity is a component of brand equity, and it reflects how recognizable a brand is to the general population. 


CeraVe Familiarity – US Adults vs Gen Z Adults – 12 Week Moving Average

QuestBrand. Base: General population of US adults, n=3,124. Base: Gen Z adults, n=458. 8/26/2023-2/21/24.

In addition, CeraVe (+7%) ranked 7th in television ad recall and 2nd among Super Bowl advertising brands that adults describe as “stylish” (+6%) in this year’s Brand Bowl Report.

With shelves stocked full of different skin care brands, finding a way to stand out against close competitors can be important for brands to succeed. 


Claire Feichtmeier

Senior Marketing Coordinator


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