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Cetaphil Releases Taylor Swift-Inspired Ad a TikTok Creator Thinks They Stole From Her | Video

Skin care brand Cetaphil released a clearly Taylor Swift-inspired ad in honor of the singer’s anticipated debut at the annual football festival, um, ahead of Super Bowl LVIII this Sunday, Feb. 11, featuring the Kansas City Chiefs against the San Francisco 49ers. The minute-and-a-half long commercial released Friday features a white dad and his biracial daughter as the former attempts to bond with the latter through a football game, beaded friendship bracelets and a red number 13 jersey.

It’s a tearjerker for sure — but if you ask TikTok creator Sharon Mbabazi, it’s also directly stolen from her work.

Cetaphil and Mbabzi did not immediately respond to requests from TheWrap for comment.

There’s no denying that Taylor Swift’s newfound enthusiasm for football, thanks to boyfriend Travis Kelce, has inspired the same in her fans and even brought together family members. It’s let them bond over their love for sports, the pop star and perhaps now both.

The YouTube description for the commercial reads, “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 skin care and dads sharing their love for the game,” the description continues. “Get your #GameTimeGlow on together. With love, Cetaphil.”

The ad notes that it features a real father and daughter. The YouTube comments alone show that the ad has resonated. As one person wrote, “I can’t, this is exactly me and my father’s situation, 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, we celebrate together the touchdowns and he loves finally having company to watch the games.”

But this might not be the first time that similar videos have made a strong impression online — a similar series featured a Black teen and her white stepfather. TikTok creator Sharon Mbabzi and her stepfather made three videos in September 2023 that featured the pair applying eye masks or concealer and talking all things Swift, Kelce and the Chiefs.

In one video, dated Sept. 26, 2023, Mbabzi wrote, “I’ve turned him into a swiftie” and said that her stepfather had begun updating her on the Swift-Kelce relationship every Sunday. In another, her stepfather updated her on the time for the next day’s game because, as she noted in the caption, she wasn’t home for the last one.

The similarity between her videos and the new ad hasn’t escaped Mbabzi, who released a new video on Friday in which she and her stepfather look at the clip as a voice asks, “Wait… is this f–king play about us?”

It’s always important to understand the distinction between taking inspiration and directly stealing someone’s work, as well as the possibility of parallel thinking. When considering whether one piece of work was inspired by another or if it was flat-out copied, it’s important that the second piece of work takes the original inspiration and builds something entirely new that can stand on its own. For many who pointed out the similarities, it’s not clear that the brand did that here.

When it comes to the Cetaphil ad and Mbabzi’s own videos, opinions are split. The conversation erupted on X (formerly Twitter), where Amira Hassan tweeted, “I don’t know anything about the ad world but I hope Cetaphil credits this creator for clearly being the inspiration for these ads. She went viral several times for her Swiftie/NFL crossover convos with her stepdad while doing her skincare. It’s 2024… and during [Black History Month]….”

Writer and actor Cassia Jones also weighed in. She wrote, “No, because she & her stepdad have been making these TikTok vids since last year. Cetaphil took their whole storyline. This one’s from September & has over 2.5 million views. If y’all still wanna cry, go watch the real vids made by this Black creator.”

There’s another interesting fact about the commercial: it doesn’t seem that Swift has approved, or even commented on, the ad itself. While the singer isn’t directly mentioned, it’s difficult to deny that she’s the inspiration — and it’s unclear whether there’s anything she could do about it if she wasn’t pleased.

Blumhouse creative executive Kyle Alex Brett summed it up, “I’d love to see the emails of Taylor Swift’s lawyer in reaction to this Cetaphil ad. If you do nothing, every brand in the world is about to try some form of this. If you do something, what do you even say? My client owns the idea that she goes places?”

Of course, if anyone is coming out on top, it’s likely Cetaphil. As JJ Wright tweeted, “Cetaphil about to be more out of stock than those Stanley tumblers.”

The post Cetaphil Releases Taylor Swift-Inspired Ad a TikTok Creator Thinks They Stole From Her | Video appeared first on TheWrap.