TikTokers Accuse Cetaphil of Stealing Their Content for This Super Bowl Ad

By: Beth Moreton | Published: Feb 25, 2024

Aside from the football and its halftime show, one thing the Super Bowl is famed for is the advertisements shown during the sporting event.

However, Cetaphil’s latest Super Bowl ad has left fans fuming after they have been accused of copying a TikTok creator’s original video ideas.

Cetaphil is Bringing Skincare and Football Lovers Together

The ad shows a father trying to get his daughter interested in the game; however, she is uninterested and walks away.

Cetaphil ad. The dad has come into his daughter’s bedroom and is holding a red football jersey top with the number ‘13’ in white. The daughter is looking towards him and has a green headband in her hair because she is doing her skincare.

Source: Cetaphil US/YouTube

Then, when the daughter is sitting doing her skin care, the announcer refers to a famous person whom the daughter is interested in, and she goes to sit and watch football with her dad.

The Ad Has Taylor Swift References

The famous celebrity the ad refers to is believed to be Taylor Swift.

Cetaphil ad. A dad and daughter are sat down on the couch. They are both wearing red football jerseys. The dad’s jersey has the number ‘89’ in white and the daughter’s jersey has the number ‘13’ on it, and both numbers are in white. The sofa is in front of the window and pictures are hanging up on the wall.

Source: Cetaphil US/YouTube

The announcer on the ad refers to “the most famous fan of the game,” per Business Insider, which fans believe to be a hint toward Swift’s recent appearances at the Kansas City Chiefs games. The daughter is also wearing a jersey with the number 13 (Swift’s favorite number), and her dad has one with the number 89 (the year Swift was born).

The YouTube Description Says It All

If the clues within the ad about it being Taylor Swift-related weren’t enough, the YouTube video description from the ad says it all.

The video description for the Cetaphil Superbowl ad. The description states ‘Dads and daughters everywhere have gotten closer because of a certain globe-trotting eras singer screaming from the football sidelines, and we’re here for it. So this season, we’re inviting dads and daughters to get closer to each other’s worlds - daughters sharing their love for skincare and dad sharing their love for the game. Get your #GameTimeGlow on together. With love, Cetaphil.’

Source: Cetaphil US/YouTube

The Wrap reports that the description states that dads and daughters have been able to enjoy football together because of “a certain globe-trotting eras singer,” which is a pretty big hint as to who the ad was about.

Swifties Have Praised the Ad

With Taylor Swift potentially having some of the most dedicated fans in the world, the fact their favorite singer has been referred to in the ad has hit home to many.

A post on X (formerly Twitter) about the Cetaphil Superbowl ad referencing Taylor Swift. The post says ‘Cause of death: ended by Cetaphil commercial’s usage of the Taylor Swift friendship bracelets between a father and daughter for the #SuperBowl I feel like this one says “Dad I love you”.’

Source: @amateurarchaeo/X (formerly Twitter)

As many Swifties have been able to bond with their dads over football as Taylor Swift is dating Travis Kelce and has been to many Chiefs games, they took to social media to show their support.

Taylor Swift Hasn’t Responded

One person who has been noticeably quiet about this whole thing is Taylor Swift.

Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift at the Superbowl LVIII. They are leaning in to kiss each other. Kelce is wearing his red football jersey with the number ‘87’ in yellow. Swift has her hair tied up in a ponytail. They are surrounded by crowds of people, mostly press.

Source: The Sun Sport/YouTube

Considering the whole Cetaphil ad hints toward being about her, Swift hasn’t commented on it at the time of publishing.


Cetaphil May Have Gotten Its Inspiration from TikTok

With the rise of TikTok in recent years and the variety of content on the platform, it’s very hard to come across a video that hasn’t taken inspiration from other creators.

A screenshot from one of Sharon Mbabzi’s TikTok videos where her stepdad is talking to her about the Chiefs. She is sitting doing her makeup and her stepdad is standing behind her looking at his phone. The text at the top of the screen reads ‘updating me on Taylor and Travis every day since Sunday.’

Source: Sharon Mbabzi/TikTok

However, TikTok creator Sharon Mbabzi believes that Cetaphil’s Superbowl ad has stolen the idea from a series of TikTok videos that she and her stepfather had started posting starting September 2023.


Mbabzi’s TikTok Videos Are Very Similar to the Cetaphil Ad

In Mbabzi’s TikTok videos, she is often seen sitting at her dresser doing her skin care while her stepfather talks to her.

Sharon Mbabzi and her stepdad filming a TikTok video. They are both wearing under-eye skincare masks and her stepdad is talking to Mbabzi about the football.

Source: Sharon Mbabzi/TikTok

In the videos, he will be talking to her about Taylor Swift, Travis Kelce, and the Chiefs. Many of these videos have gone viral and have millions of views due to the heartwarming moments between a stepdaughter and stepfather.


Difference Between Copying and Inspiration

It’s almost impossible these days to create something that doesn’t, at the very least, seem somewhat similar to what someone else has created, whether that is intentional or not.

Screenshot from the Cetaphil ad. The daughter is sitting at her desk doing her skincare and her dad has just walked into the room

Source: Cetaphil US/YouTube

While Cetaphil may have maintained that it took inspiration from a social media trend, there is a difference between this and taking most, if not all, of your content from someone else’s idea.


Mbabzi Hit Back at Cetaphil

Having seen the ad and realizing that it was very similar to the ones she had posted with her stepfather, Mbabzi decided to have her say.

A screenshot from one of Sharon Mbabzi’s TikTok videos with her stepdad. There is a textbox at the top of the video that says ‘Can you share your stepdad's reaction to the ad.’ The pair are both wearing under-eye skincare masks.

Source: Sharon Mbabzi/TikTok

In the TikTok, Mbabzi and her stepdad are talking about the ad, with her stepdad stating that it is “our story” and saying his “daughter made the content you [Cetaphil] stole.” He also asked for Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce to call Cetaphil out.


Mbabzi’s Followers Also Complained About the Ad

Having seen the ad for themselves and the videos made by Mbabzi, including the one where she and her stepfather called Cetaphil out, Mbabzi’s followers took to social media to complain.

A screenshot from a post on X (formerly Twitter) regarding the Cetaphil and Sharon Mbabzi demate. The post says ‘@cetaphil needs to run Sharon Mbabzi and her stepdad their check for stealing her TikTok video to make a #SuperBowlLVIII commercial. And during #BlackHistoryMonth, too! Cetaphil are THIEVES!’ The bottom of the post has two screenshots, one from the Cetaphil ad and one from one of Mbabzi’s TikTok videos.

Source: @SceneByAshlix/X (formerly Twitter)

Many commented on the video saying they were outraged that Cetaphil had done this. One user took to X (formerly Twitter), stating, “@Cetaphil needs to run Sharon Mbabzi and her stepdad their check for stealing her TikTok video to make a #SuperBowlLVIII commercial.”


Cetaphil Responds to the Outrage

With many people taking to social media to show their outrage for Cetaphil allegedly copying Mbabzi’s TikTok videos, Cetaphil decided to respond to the outrage.

Screenshot from the Cetaphil Superbowl ad. The dad and daughter are sitting on the sofa in their red football jerseys and are laughing at something.

Source: Cetaphil US/YouTube

In a statement to Today, Cetaphil said it was an “original creation” and that they hadn’t seen Mbabzi’s content. They said the ad had been inspired by “young women and girls [that] have been bonding with their fathers over football and posting about it on their social channels.”


Cetaphil Has an Offer for Mbabzi

With the outrage regarding the ad, Cetaphil decided to not only reach out to Mbabzi personally, but they also had an offer for her.

Sharon Mbabzi and her stepdad on her TikTok account updating her followers on the situation with Cetaphil. They are both looking into the camera and smiling.

Source: Sharon Mbabzi/TikTok

According to AdWeek, Mbabzi updated her followers on TikTok. She stated that Cetaphil had “made things right” and also teased that there might be something more to come and that they should stay tuned. Hopefully, this means something good will come out of this entire situation.