Cetaphil Super Bowl Ad 2024 – Controversy and Social Media Reaction

The Cetaphil Super Bowl ad this year cleverly taps into the current cultural zeitgeist, intertwining elements of celebrity, sports, and family dynamics without directly mentioning any names. This approach is both subtle and ingenious, leveraging the powerful influences of Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce alongside the Kansas City Chiefs’ fame to create a narrative that resonates with a wide audience. Here’s a breakdown of the ad’s key components and their implications:

The ad’s storyline centers on the universal theme of family bonding, specifically between a father and his daughter. The clever use of indirect references to Taylor Swift (the number 13 jersey and the birth year 1989) and the Kansas City Chiefs (through the implied connection with Travis Kelce and the number 89 jersey) enriches the narrative without infringing on copyrights or personalities’ rights. This method of storytelling showcases Cetaphil’s brand as one that understands and appreciates contemporary pop culture, subtly integrating its product into everyday life moments.

Cetaphil Super Bowl Ad 2024
The perfect setup for the big game and the ads that steal the show.

Star Power and Cultural References

Although Taylor Swift, Travis Kelce, and the Kansas City Chiefs are never explicitly mentioned, the ad is densely packed with nods to these icons, demonstrating an effective use of star power without direct involvement. This strategy dodges legal complications and engages viewers by inviting them to connect the dots, making the ad more interactive and engaging.

Humor and Emotional Appeal

The ad balances humor and emotion, with the daughter initially appearing disinterested in her father’s attempts to share something exciting, only to later bond over their shared interest signaled through the football game and Swift’s fan culture. Including friendship bracelets, a nod to Swift’s Eras Tour, adds a layer of emotional depth and relatability, especially among fans.

Overall Effectiveness

The commercial’s effectiveness lies in its ability to weave a heartwarming narrative around its product without making the advertisement feel like a hard sell. By focusing on relatable family moments and contemporary cultural phenomena, Cetaphil positions itself as more than just a skincare brand—it becomes a medium through which shared interests and affections can be expressed.

Controversy and Social Media Reaction

The claim by TikTok creator Sharon Mbabazi that Cetaphil’s ad campaign mirrors her personal videos adds a layer of controversy, sparking debate over originality and the ethics of corporate advertising drawing inspiration from individual creators’ content. This discussion could potentially overshadow the ad’s creative achievements and raise questions about the authenticity of marketing strategies.

The comments about Cetaphil’s Super Bowl ad present a fascinating mix of reactions that highlight both the ad’s emotional resonance and the controversy surrounding its conceptual origins. Analyzing these comments provides insight into the ad’s impact on the audience and the broader conversation about creativity and credit in the digital age.

Positive Reactions and Emotional Impact

  • Many comments express genuine emotional connection with the ad, citing personal stories and experiences that resonate with the father-daughter bonding theme. For instance, comments like “Absolutely fantastic!! Lifelong Chiefs fan here and I absolutely love how this has brought in new fan engagement” and “Cetaphil helps the tears glide more smoothly down my face” showcase the ad’s ability to evoke strong feelings and memories, signifying its success in creating a heartfelt narrative that appeals to a wide audience.
  • The mention of Taylor Swift’s influence and the clever integration of football culture into a skincare ad has been praised for its originality and subtlety, with comments like “Showing Taylor Swift’s influence without showing Taylor Swift. Brilliant commercial.”
  • The ad’s focus on routine skincare and the incorporation of SPF in a relatable, everyday context has been noted as a positive and educational aspect, highlighting Cetaphil’s commitment to promoting healthy skin care habits.

Controversy Over Originality

  • A significant portion of the commentary centers around allegations that the ad’s concept was lifted from a TikToker’s content. This has sparked a debate over the ethics of large corporations using individual creators’ ideas without acknowledgment or compensation. Comments like “Looks like they stole the idea from a Niner fan on TikTok” and more explicit accusations of stealing a Black woman’s idea during Black History Month point to a growing concern over the protection and recognition of content creators’ rights.
  • The controversy has not only drawn criticism towards Cetaphil’s media team but also ignited a broader discussion on social media about the need for brands to engage more ethically with content creators, especially when those creators’ narratives are used in high-profile campaigns like Super Bowl ads.

Mixed Reactions and Critique

  • While many comments praise the ad for its emotional depth and clever references, others express disappointment upon learning about the potential plagiarism, suggesting that this revelation has tainted their perception of the ad’s authenticity and the brand’s integrity.
  • Some viewers critique the ad from a more humorous or critical standpoint, discussing the practicality of skincare routines in relation to the ad’s narrative or the oddity of being emotionally moved by a commercial for a skincare product.


The Cetaphil Super Bowl ad serves as a case study in the power of advertising to connect with audiences on a deeply personal level, leveraging popular culture and universal themes of family and belonging. However, the controversy over its conceptual origins underscores the challenges and ethical considerations that brands face in the digital age, where the line between inspiration and appropriation can be thin. The conversation reflects a growing demand for transparency, respect, and fair compensation for content creators, suggesting that brands need to navigate these issues carefully to maintain trust and authenticity in their marketing efforts.

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