Cetaphil debuted a Taylor Swift-themed ad for Super Bowl LVIII.
TikTok user Sharon Mbabazi and her stepfather said Cetaphil copied their viral videos "bar-for-bar."
"My daughter made the content that you stole," the father said in one video.
A daughter and her stepfather have accused skincare brand Cetaphil of copying their TikTok videos to create a Taylor Swift-inspired Super Bowl commercial.
The drama around the ad began on Friday when the company first shared its Super Bowl LVIII commercial.
The ad, "A New Sports Tradition for Dads & Daughters," features a girl looking at her phone while her father watches sports on television. The father tries to talk to his daughter about the game, but she's uninterested.
Later, the daughter is sitting at a vanity using Cetaphil products when she hears a sports announcer on TV say, "Well, folks, there she is. It's the most famous fan of the game" — a reference to Taylor Swift, who has become an NFL regular while cheering on her boyfriend, Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce.
The pair then share a sweet moment now that they've found something to bond over. The father buys his daughter a football jersey with the number 13 — Swift's favorite number — while he wears a jersey with the number 89, which may be a shoutout to Swift's birth year. The ad ends with the father and daughter watching a sports game together while wearing friendship bracelets, which became a popular trend during The Eras Tour.
Swifties applauded the ad, but a woman and her stepfather claim Cetaphil stole the idea from their TikTok videos
Cetaphil's ad garnered praise from Swifties, who said it made them emotional.
"This is exactly me and my father's situation," one person wrote on YouTube. "I'm a huge swiftie, and he is a huge NFL fan, and I can't even explain how much we bonded over those games."
Critics online began formulating different opinions, however, when TikTok user Sharon Mbabazi accused Cetaphil of copying her content.
"Y'all, Cetaphil legit copied the TikToks I made with my stepdad back in September," she said in a video posted on Saturday. "Like, y'all could have at least given us some credit."
In September 2023, Mbabazi posted three TikTok videos that showed her stepfather talking to her about football and Swift while she did her skincare routine at a vanity. The videos have 4.1 million views combined.
On Saturday, Mbabazi said she noticed similarities between Cetaphil's commercial and her TikTok videos. In addition to the main characters doing a skincare routine while bonding over football and Swift, she claimed they also mimicked her and her stepfather's appearance.
In a follow-up video, Mbabazi and her stepfather directly addressed Cetaphil.
"That is a beautiful story that you have in your commercial that's going to be on the Super Bowl, but it's our story," the stepfather said.
He added: "My daughter made the content that you stole."
The stepfather said Cetaphil's commercial took their concept "bar-for-bar" and asked that his daughter get proper recognition.
"Swiftie nation, do your thing," he said. "What's right is what's right."
Many TikTok users agreed with the duo, with one person writing: "They should have collaborated with you guys! Knowing it was a collab based on real people would have made it even THAT much better! I am so sorry."
Mbabazi and her stepfather may still get their spotlight soon. The CCO of ad agency Prompt, which helped craft the campaign, told Ad Age that Mbabzi and her stepfather would appear in a follow-up commercial for Cetaphil. He denied that they copied the family's TikTok videos.
"We never saw the footage," Craig Elimeliah told the outlet, according to Muse by Clio, an advertising news website.
Representatives for Galderma, Cetaphil's parent company, and Mbabazi did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.
On Sunday, the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs will face off in Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.
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