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News / 28.03.24

How a Clever Partnership Earned CeraVe over 9 Billion Impressions on Social Media

Over the years, the ads aired during the Super Bowl have become as eagerly anticipated as the game itself, and for many brands, the unparalleled viewership and ability to reach millions of potential customers simultaneously, means there’s no better place to be seen.

However, skincare brand CeraVe took things a step further this year, with a campaign that generated over 9 billion impressions for their brand on social media before their ad was even aired at this year’s Super Bowl – by partnering with actor Michael Cera.

Ogilvy, the agency behind CeraVe’s campaign explained, “As we always do, we began by turning to social listening for intelligence, insights and inspiration, and to ensure we create work that resonates in culture first and foremost. In this research, we found several Reddit and social posts from several years ago speculating whether Michael Cera is somehow connected to CeraVe. We saw the potential of it.”

Working with the actor, the brand ran a three phased campaign:

  1. ‘Fake news’ introduced Cera as the potential mastermind behind the brand as he was spotted carrying bags of it around New York, signing products in stores, and mentioning his involvement in interviews with influencers.
@haleyybaylee Guys run to this pharmacy in BK, I just saw MICHAEL CERA signing bottles!! 😳😳😳I’m a #ceravepartner, and I’m asking @CeraVe what is going ON #nyc #fyp #celebritysighting ♬ original sound – haleyybaylee

2. Disbelief was up next as dermatologists and influencers in the skincare space started an online conversation ‘debunking’ Cera’s claims.

@iconiccpinkk Replying to @Munera I was so confused for weeks thinking that MICHAEL CERA actually created CeraVe!!😱😱😱 Finally we know the truth now. Thank you to @CeraVe for sponsoring this video #ceravepartner #foryou #skincare ♬ original sound – Munera

3. Finally the campaign concluded with Michael Cera and CeraVe’s epic Super Bowl ad.

Discussing the campaign with LBB,  Ogilivy’s President of PR Charlotte Tansil said, “we needed to find [other] clever ways to seed the narrative to consumers and get them involved. For this, we relied on the power of influencers and earned media to catch wind of the prank and let human curiosity and the magic of the internet be the power that drove speculation and conversation.”

A perfect partnership cleverly executed; people took to social media in their droves to praise the brand, as they claimed CeraVe’s only issue is that they will never ever be able to top this campaign.

“CeraVe is great for sensitive skin. Doctor recommended. Cera is just good for the soul.”

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