When an ad for Cetaphil lotion hit the Internet days before the Super Bowl, it drew rave reviews for a narrative that evoked a familiar story for parents, football fans and Taylor Swift fans.
In the ad, a father tries unsuccessfully to interest his teenage daughter, who is distracted by something on her phone, at a soccer game. She goes to her bedroom to complete her skincare routine — using Cetaphil on her face. She then walks down the stairs to see her father watching a football game wearing a white No. 89 jersey. The announcer can be heard saying, “Well guys, here she is, the most famous fan of the game,” flashing a smile from the daughter.
The father, sensing an opportunity, later enters her room wearing a red No. 13 jersey for her and jokingly applies cream to his face before begging her to come watch the game. She walks down the stairs, puts her phone on the coffee table and curls up next to her father. The ad ends with them wearing their jerseys on the couch and laughing. An on-screen message reads: “This season, fathers and daughters have found a new way to connect.”
While it doesn’t directly mention Taylor Swift, the ad is a nod to how the music superstar’s relationship with Travis Kelce, which was very close in Kansas City, is said to have led to more fathers and daughters attending NFL games together. the season. The No. 13 and No. 89 jerseys were implicit references to Ms. Swift’s “lucky number,” 13, and her (and Mr. Kelce’s) birth year, 1989. And the father in the ad wore friendship bracelets, like and many Ms. Swift’s fans.
Users on social media reacted positively to the ad, making connections to their own lives. One TikTok user who posted the ad said it “brought me to tears.” In X, fan accounts for Mrs. Swift praised the commercial, and a user he said“as the daughter of a soccer coach and a die-hard Swiftie, I love this.”
But on Friday night, a woman who runs a popular TikTok account, Sharon Mbabazi, said her company had stolen the idea for the ad. On her social media accounts, she shared a TikTok post from September in which she is doing her makeup when her stepfather walks in and tells her about Mr. Kelce’s growing Instagram following, jersey sales and popularity from when his relationship with Ms. Swift became public. .
The post, captioned: “My stepdad has been updating me on Taylor and Travis every day since Sunday,” had 2.7 million views as of Sunday afternoon. (It’s one of several she’s posted involving herself, soccer and her stepfather.) She joins Ms. Mbabazi in applying lotion to his face, providing updates on Kansas City’s performance, or simply letting her know when the Chiefs were playing. — and get ready to watch the game together. Ms Babazi did not respond to a request for comment.
In a statement on Sunday, Cetaphil said the ad was “an original creation” that was “inspired by a unique trend this year in which many young women and girls bond with their fathers over football and post about it on social channels their. ” The company added that, after speaking with Ms Mbabazi, it was “working with Sharon and other influencers like her”, although it did not specify what that meant.
Other health and beauty companies, which often focus on women in their marketing, perhaps hoping to capitalize on interest in Ms. Swift, advertised during the Super Bowl on Sunday night, including ELF Cosmetics, NYX Makeup and Dove . (The Cetaphil ad was not scheduled to air nationally during the game.)
Mary Scott, a professor of strategic communications at Montclair State University, said Super Bowl ads were most effective when they captured an emotion or moment that the country as a whole had recently experienced. Even more than the Swift effect, Ms Scott said, the portrayal of phones as a barrier between parents and their children is something many parents could relate to.
He likened the Cetaphil ad to those from the 2021 Super Bowl that referenced Americans’ shared experiences of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“They’ve entered a different reality,” Ms Scott said, referring to the Cetaphil ad. “They just went deeper.”