No, Michael Cera Is Not the Mastermind Behind CeraVe

For the last three weeks, videos of Michael Cera have circulated online, claiming that the actor is the founder of the skin care brand CeraVe.

Michael Cera. CeraVe. Get it?

In late January, paparazzi photos of Mr. Cera lugging giant bags of CeraVe around New York City appeared in Page Six and People magazine. The same week, Mr. Cera was spotted handing out moisturizer to pedestrians and signing bottles of CeraVe at Euro Chemist, a pharmacy in Brooklyn.

Influencers such as Kirbie Johnson and Haley Kalil were paid as part of the marketing campaign to post content speculating on a potential partnership between the brand and actor. In a promotional YouTube video with Bobbi Althoff, host of “The Really Good Podcast,” Mr. Cera performatively walked out of the interview when questioned about his relationship with CeraVe.

It’s all part of an ultra-meta, multipronged marketing campaign that CeraVe has been unveiling layer by layer over weeks, and which will culminate in its first Super Bowl commercial. It is an unexpected turn, perhaps, for a brand that has been an unassuming drugstore favorite for years — and for its star, Mr. Cera, who rarely does brand collaborations. He’s also a rather unlikely, and memorable, choice for a beauty ambassador in a field crowded with celebrity skin care lines.

“So, my name is Cera. So, it’s a perfect crossover opportunity,” Mr. Cera deadpans in a scene depicting a boardroom pitch in CeraVe’s 30-second spot, which is expected to air during the first quarter of the game.

Only in the final seconds of the ad, a version of which has been reviewed by The New York Times, do dermatologists clarify that CeraVe wasn’t developed with Mr. Cera.

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