super bowl commercial

CeraVe Skincare/Youtube

"let my cream hydrate you"

Okay, so it’s pretty common for beauty and skincare companies to have celebrities endorse their products. And when it’s not in the form of a social media post, you can bet it’s a highly stylized commercial, where said celebrity—dressed to the nines, hair impossibly shiny, skin flawless—puts on that dreamy voice to tell you all the ways in which this product is the fountain of youth, as they are caressed ever so gently by billowing fabrics draping around them. Maybe, just maybe if you use this product held preciously in their freshly manicured hands, you can get a fraction of their greatness. It’s the epitome of aspirational.

And then there's the Michael Cera CeraVe ad that premiered during the Super Bowl this Sunday.

You might have seen the bizarre social media campaign in the previous weeks where Michael Cera was spotted mysteriously signing Cera Va bottles. This was followed by Cera insisting the “Cera” in CeraVe is a reference to him during a podcast interview. Followed by CeraVe “setting the record straight” that Cera had nothing to do with the brand. More and more strange occurrences followed after that, including popular dermatologist Dr. Shah even “testing” Cera’s skin-care expertise.

Turns out, this was all an elaborate lead-up to a CeraVe commercial starring Cera. One that’s being hailed “perfect,” “"genius.",” and "best Super Bowl commercial in years."

Nailing those fantastical, overtly sensual qualities of a standard beauty product commercial, Cera indulges himself with a massage, claiming, “I am CeraVe,” all while New Age music plays softly in the background.

Cue more over-the-top images like scaling and mountain and chatting with a narwhal (yes, really) and Cera masterfully delivering lines like “Let my cream hydrate you” and “Human skin is my passion” in his signature deadpan.

The camera then zooms out to reveal this is actually a commercial Cera is pitching to a boardroom, saying, “I think it would be really nice if people think I made this," he said.

The ad ends with CeraVe confirming the brand “has been developed with dermatologists,”not Michael Cera.


Not only did the ad win hearts online, it took home the Super Clio from the Clio Awards, which recognizes the Big Game's most “entertaining or emotional” commercial.

"It gets harder and harder to capture consumers' attention each year, but viewership for live sports, especially NFL football, continues to grow," says Clio Awards CDO Purcell, according to Muse. "An audience as large as the Super Bowl is rare, so brands and advertisers are under a lot of pressure to deliver a spot that has a cultural impact and generates buzz."

CeraVe certainly seemed to succeed in that arena. It goes to show that it’s not just beauty that sells. People enjoy weirdness just as much.The ad ends with CeraVe confirming the brand “has been developed with dermatologists,”not Michael Cera.