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Google’s “Real Tone” won a Grand Prix at Cannes.
“Cause if you love me, you love all of me,” Lizzo sings in Google Pixel’s campaign, which was featured in the Super Bowl this year. The Cannes Lions Mobile Lions jury loved all of the phone’s “Real Tone” technology, awarding it the Grand Prix in the mobile category.
Google, like so many mobile companies with camera products, had neglected to design software to capture everyone’s complexion. Camera technology has been notoriously non-inclusive when it comes to showing the full richness of darker skin tones. Google’s “Real Tone” commercial told the story of how the company went back to the drawing board so everyone could take photos and feel seen. The campaign was done in partnership with New York Times’ T Brand Studio, Wieden+Kennedy New York and Gut, Miami.
“When we got to the Grand Prix, practically everyone raised their arms for this idea,” said Hugo Veiga, global chief creative officer at AKQA, who led the jury for the mobile category.
The jury looked at a number of contenders and, of course, one of the main criteria was how the campaigns pertained to the mobile category. “What is in this idea, specific idea,” Veiga said. “What is the mobile part of it that really expands the experience.”
Itaú Bank’s “A Chat Away from Everything,” an idea from Grey Argentina, won a Gold Lion in the mobile category. Other Gold Lion winners in the category were: Supermax Online’s “The Eye Tracker” by De La Cruz Ogilvy, Guaynabo, and Burger King’s “Burger Glitch” by David Sao Paulo.
The jury was looking at how mobile technology is transforming everything from photography to banking and considered the most high-tech augmented reality applications in mobile. But Google won for its simplicity, Veiga said. “This was an idea that simply portrays reality,” Veiga said, “and what a huge step that is.”
“We were blown away” by other ideas, as well, Veiga said, such as banks putting services on WhatsApp or tools for refugees to communicate through emojis. “The mobile phone probably is the ultimate equalizer,” Veiga said. “Everyone has access.”
In the end, it was the simplicity of Google’s new technology—and the importance of correcting a historic wrong. “Real children could not see themselves in the picture,” Veiga said, about how mobile cameras had not been designed initially for inclusivity. Now it “allows people to see themselves as they truly are,” Veiga said.
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CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly reported that Google’s Super Bowl campaign was awarded and that Wieden+Kennedy Portland was one of the agencies that worked on the campaign. Google’s “Real Tone” technology was awarded and Wieden+Kennedy New York was one of the agencies that worked on the Google Pixel launch campaign.
In this article:
Garett Sloane is Ad Age’s technology, digital and media reporter. He has worked in newspapers from Albany to New York City, and small towns in between. He has also worked at every advertising industry trade publication that matters, and he once visited Guatemala and once rode the Budapest Metro.