The Full Timeline of the 2024 Michael Cera / CeraVe Conspiracy

Written by Kraken Staff

February 13, 2024

In the whirlwind of events leading up to the Big Game on February 11, 2024, one unexpected storyline captured the attention of audiences everywhere: the Michael Cera / CeraVe conspiracy. What began as a quirky encounter at a New York pharmacy evolved into a viral sensation, culminating in a Super Bowl ad that left viewers both baffled and amused.

Let’s look into the full timeline of this peculiar saga and uncover the truth behind the CeraVe craze.

Influencer Marketing at its Finest 

Before we get too deep into the timeline of this CeraVe whirlwind, let’s talk a bit about influencer marketing and how it has become a robust powerhouse strategy in the digital marketing landscape. Quite simply, its effectiveness lies in its ability to leverage the trust and credibility that influencers have built with their followers, leading to higher engagement and conversion rates.

According to the 2023 Influencer Marketing Hub survey, 90% of marketers feel strongly that influencer marketing can be effective, with 72% agreeing that it provides higher-quality customers. This simply demonstrates influencers’ immense impact in shaping consumer behavior and purchasing decisions.

Most influencers fall into the category of micro-influencers, typically boasting between 10,000 and 100,000 followers. However, there are also mega influencers, with more than 1 million followers, who hold significant sway over their audiences. Take, for instance, Instagram influencer Haley Kalil, with 4.3 million followers, or TikTok sensation Caleb Simpson, with 7.8 million followers. Even Bobbi Althoff, host of The Really Good Podcast, commands a substantial following, with 3 million followers on Instagram and 1.14 million subscribers on YouTube alone. 

These influencers play a big role in amplifying brand messages and driving engagement. So, it’s no wonder that these big names played a role in the CeraVe conspiracy as it unfolded. 

January 22nd – The Buzz Begins 


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

The buzz started on January 22 when influencer Haley Kalil stumbled upon actor Michael Cera quietly signing bottles of CeraVe’s Daily Moisturizing Lotion at a local Brooklyn pharmacy. Haley, with her 8.4 million TikTok followers, couldn’t resist sharing the peculiar encounter, sparking curiosity and speculation across social media platforms.

January 29th – The Podcast

On January 29, Michael Cera made a peculiar appearance on Bobbi Althoff’s “The Really Good Podcast” that left viewers scratching their heads. The video started with an awkward exchange between Cera and Althoff, featuring a bizarre discussion about smiling, happiness, and being a good person. The tension in the room was palpable, further heightened by the presence of a pesky fly that added to the discomfort.

As the conversation shifted to skincare, things took an unexpected turn. Cera hinted at the misconception that he was somehow involved in the creation of CeraVe, prompting Althoff to dismiss the notion. However, Cera’s evasive responses and cryptic remarks only deepened the mystery surrounding his alleged connection to the skincare brand. Despite Althoff’s attempts to clarify the situation, audiences were left with more questions than answers.

The video concluded with Cera abruptly leaving the room, promising to return but leaving viewers hanging. The unresolved nature of the conversation only added to the intrigue surrounding the Michael Cera / CeraVe conspiracy, leaving audiences wondering about the true extent of Cera’s involvement in the enigmatic saga.

January 31st – TikTok Joins the Party

Days later, on January 31, TikTok user Caleb Simpson added fuel to the fire with a cryptic video featuring a movie trailer adorned with Michael Cera’s name and a hint of skincare advice. The trailer’s interior revealed shelves stacked with CeraVe products, igniting a frenzy of speculation and anticipation among viewers.

February 11th – Clarifications Come Rolling In

As February 11 rolled around, model Haley Kalil returned to the spotlight with an Instagram reel on CeraVe’s official page, adding another layer to the intrigue surrounding Michael Cera’s purported involvement with the skincare brand. In the reel, Kalil shared poignant messages aimed at dispelling the rumors surrounding Cera’s connection to CeraVe. 

She emphasized multiple times that CeraVe was developed by dermatologists, clarifying that the “Cera” in CeraVe actually stands for “ceramides,” essential lipids crucial for skin health. Kalil’s tone conveyed a sense of earnestness as she passionately reiterated, “Michael Cera did not develop CeraVe. Dermatologists did.”

However, amidst her attempts to clarify the situation, Kalil’s demeanor hinted at a deeper complexity. Was her seemingly sincere apology a genuine expression of remorse for inadvertently contributing to the confusion, or was it a strategic move in a larger game at play? As the mystery surrounding the Michael Cera / CeraVe conspiracy deepened, Kalil’s role in the saga became increasingly enigmatic, leaving followers questioning her true intentions.

And Then There’s the Big Game 

During Super Bowl LVIII, certain commercials stood out among the rest. According to Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, top-ranked ads included spots from Google, Dove, and CeraVe

CeraVe’s ad for skincare products featured actor Michael Cera in a humorous spot where he claimed to have developed the moisturizing cream, given the product includes his last name. However, the ad cleverly revealed that dermatologists, not Cera, were the true creators of the moisturizer. For those who had been following the odd social media posts for the two weeks prior, this ad effectively ended the confusion sparked by Cera’s supposed claims, sealing the deal with a dose of humor and clarity.

So, Did Michael Cera Develop CeraVe?

In an article released on February 12 from PR Newswire, titled “CeraVe Collaborates with Michael Cera and TikTok Stars on First-of-its-Kind Global Campaign,” it was announced that CeraVe, the leading skincare brand recommended by dermatologists in the U.S., unveiled the epic conclusion to its inaugural Super Bowl ad and first-of-its-kind global campaign. This groundbreaking campaign was developed in partnership with actor Michael Cera, viral dermatologists, and a handful of TikTok’s and Instagram’s biggest stars.

For weeks leading up to the Big Game, Michael Cera had been at the forefront of news and social media, promoting the brand that is supposedly his namesake; CeraVe. He even starred in his very own Michael CeraVe commercial, asserting his involvement in the skincare brand’s development. 

However, the truth was unveiled in a revealing ad during the Super Bowl, where a boardroom of CeraVe dermatologists debunked Cera’s claims. They clarified that CeraVe has always been developed with dermatologists since 2005, with the “Ve” representing MVE Technology and “Cera” referring to ceramides, not Michael Cera.

Despite the confusion sparked by Cera’s supposed claims, the campaign was a remarkable use of social media and garnered significant buzz. Designed to reinforce the brand’s ‘moisturize like a derm’ movement and celebrate its reputation, the campaign highlighted dermatologists as true skincare experts. By showcasing CeraVe’s unique blend of skin-identical ceramides and MVE Technology, developed with dermatologists, the campaign underscored the brand’s commitment to providing effective skincare products for all.

So, did Michael Cera develop CeraVe? No, dermatologists did.

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