CeraVe's Viral 'Conspiracy' Campaign Wins Social/Influencer Grand Prix

Probably the least surprising win of the week was skincare brand CeraVe’s “Michael CeraVe” being awarded the Grand Prix Lion in the social and influencer category. 

The campaign, led by Ogilvy PR has been one of the most talked about campaigns of the year having started with rumors planted on social media that the actor was involved in the development of CeraVe and culminating with a Super Bowl ad in February where it was “revealed” that no, he had nothing to do with the brand’s development, just its quirky social and influencer-led campaign. 

According to Ogilvy, the actor isn’t on social media. It orchestrated a multi-platform influencer-led campaign to spark a global debate. Then, “the internet ran with it.”  

For four-weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, the brand was front and center in culture as over 400 influencers organically weighed in about the skincare “conspiracy.” During that time the conversation online chalked up 15.4 billion impressions before the Big Game spot aired. 

The campaign’s goal was two-fold: Confirm CeraVe as the skincare brand developed with Dermatologists and elevate CeraVe from a niche social following into a cultural and global phenomenon. 

The Super Bowl ad helped complete the mission with its funny approach to reinforcing its dermatological pedigree. And it certainly broke out of the cult category by achieving KPIs that included 1 billion impressions, 50 articles, 74,000 website hits, a top 10 share of voice during the game and more.  

Social & Influencer Jury President, Chief Creative Officer, Partner of Special U.S,  called the campaign, “wildly ambitious, lovably absurd, multi-channel, ultra-modern,” and one that “beautifully blurs the line between social, influencer, culture and advertising. It’s hard to classify, which is exactly why we chose it. But one thing is clear, it belongs firmly in this category because without the brilliant use of social and influencer, this idea doesn’t work.”  

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