Cannes Lions

Real Tone — Product Innovation & Global Campaign

GOOGLE, Mountain View / GOOGLE / 2022


1 Grand Prix Cannes Lions
1 Bronze Cannes Lions
3 Shortlisted Cannes Lions
Case Film






Historically, camera technology hasn’t accurately represented darker skin tones. A lack of diverse testing means that today’s cameras can carry that same bias, delivering unflattering photos for people of color.

The driving force behind this effort was to make the best in class camera and image product experiences for people of color.


Real Tone is a collection of technical improvements and mission to make our camera and image products work more equitably for people of color. We vastly improved our camera tuning models and algorithms to more accurately highlight the nuances of diverse skin tones with Real Tone software, including improved auto-exposure, auto-white balance, and other core features.


The Pixel 6 camera is a foundational element of the phone, and for many, the reason for the purchase. By improving a camera that reaches millions of hands around the world, Google is illuminating one of the many ways we can start thinking about equity and inclusivity in tools that we use every day.


Nov 2017 - First conversations about the idea.

Summer 2019 - Committed to product roadmap plan

May 2021 - Announced mission at I/O

Fall 2021 - Launched Real Tone at Fall Hardware event

The full campaign work ran at Google I/O, on Broadcast, Youtube, Google’s social channels, in a collaboration with New York Times Advertising and other publishers, as well as in branded TV content.


SInce its launch in October 2021, the work has been enthusiastically received around the world, with 7 films from 5 different countries reaching over 70 million total views and impressions around the world, plus positive comments and reactions across the board from communities of color.

When we started, our goal was simply to create a better camera. But what we found is that this mission connected with people and audiences all over the world through stories that were as personal and nuanced as the people who viewed them. Launching with partners across the Americas, APAC, EMEA, and LATAM brought Real Tone to the screens of the people who will directly benefit from it.

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