It seems like 2016 is just one of those years that people will talk about for a while. Whether you loved it or hated it, there was definitely some good to come out of the past 12 months — especially in the design and communications world. We asked our team of designers, PR pros, web gurus, social media mavens, and ad geniuses to come up with some of the best things that came out of 2016 for this year in review post, featuring our favorite commercials, campaigns, technologies, ideas, and more. Some relate to our industry, some don’t, but they’re all awesome!

David Wingard, Founder and Chief Creative Director
Top Pick: TED Talk by Tim Urban: “Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator
As everyone who works with me knows, I’m a huge fan of TED Talks. This one especially resonates with me because I know what it’s like to deal with “The Panic Monster” on a regular basis and how it feels to have that “Instant Gratification Monkey” in my brain.

Christopher Ball, CEO
Top Pick: Google Pixel Commercial
Google released a slick ad for its new iPhone competitor, the Pixel. The commercial works on several levels; the visuals are sharp, the copy is clever, and the lively horns match the emotions evoked in the spot perfectly. I also love the not-so-subtle jab at the new iPhone’s lack of a headset jack. Brilliant!

Russell Baker, Brand Strategist
Top Picks: eero, an incredible full-home mesh network that delivers flawless and Apple-easy wireless access; and Ring, an easy-to-install video doorbell system that provides an alternative to costly alarm systems and monitoring
I hold both of these technologies in high regard because I spent hundreds of dollars on things that I didn’t necessarily need, but after using both, I believe they’re well worth the investment and more. While the advertising for both are nothing of beauty, they were both effective at driving home the value proposition and point of difference for their products in a fun and engaging manner. Also, they both represent foundational elements of an IoT future for consumers and could easily be the tipping point toward truly networked homes.

Kyle Brown, Media Director & Accounting and Operations Manager
Top Pick: Team Stream by Bleacher Report
My favorite app this year has been the Bleacher Report Team Stream app. I’m a huge Chicago Cubs fan, and this was a big year for us. I was able to read about the team from various sports sources all in one place.

Hannah Wanderon, Account Executive
Top Pick: Doritos Crash The Super Bowl Finalist – Doritos Dogs
My favorite ad of 2016 was the Doritos Dogs commercial. I always look forward to the Doritos commercials during the Super Bowl because they’re funny and attention grabbing. Also, my dog loves Doritos Nacho Cheese, and it’s ridiculous.

Camille Middleton, Account Director
Top Pick:
P&G Thank You, Mom commercial
I truly enjoyed this P&G Thank You, Mom commercial from the Olympics. This one especially resonates with me because my mother is the strongest woman I know, and she has instilled that same sense of strength in me.

Jamie Goss, Account Assistant
Top Pick:
iPhone 6s Timer commercial
My favorite commercial of 2016 is Apple’s Timer commercial for the iPhone 6s with Cookie Monster. I find it really relatable! Plus, who doesn’t love Cookie Monster?!

Paige Miller, Traffic Manager
Top Pick: Gerald Daugherty Campaign: “Please Re-Elect Gerald…Please!”
This political ad is my favorite political ad of the year. Most political ads are very templated and tend to be negatively targeted at their opponents. I like the originality of this commercial and that it attempts to appeal to the voter from a different perspective. It’s pretty funny, too!

Natalie DeYoung, Director of Communications and Public Relations
Top Pick:
Obama/Biden Memes
Obama/Biden memes brought some much-needed humor to the world of online commentary about the election. I’ve enjoyed watching the way President Obama and Vice President Biden shared their mutual sense of humor over the years; this meme seemed like a fitting end to their time in the White House. And, like all great Internet memes, the jokes only got funnier as time passed.

Katie Nail, Copy Writer and Social Media Manager
Top Pick:
Cape Breton if Trump Wins
I thought Canada’s Cape Breton showed a really creative use of advertising and identifying a niche market with the “Cape Breton if Trump Wins” website. The name of the campaign is partisan, but when you get to reading it, it’s clear that this is an attractive place to anyone, regardless of political leanings. The tone is very tongue-in-cheek, and the whole site is written in a way that is relatable and attractive. It’s a well-designed site with crisp copy, and they used a hook in a unique way to get people there.

Lena Oakley, Public Relations Associate
Top Pick: Spotify Listener Data Billboards
I love the Spotify listener data billboards – it’s funny and quirky, yet relatable (even if the super specific data collected is a little creepy). I think the laugh it provides and the lighthearted nature is what we all need.

Sean Kinberger, Art Director
Top Picks:
Sketch and Adobe Xd
My favorite design idea/trend of 2016 is the ever-growing movement into User Experience. The platform Sketch has led the charge as a program specifically made for user interface design and prototyping. Adobe, in an attempt to keep up, released a very similar tool called Adobe Xd (Experience Design) with many of the same features as Sketch. Now we get to sit back and watch which program becomes designers’ tool of choice in 2017.

Sarah Quatrano, Art Director
Top Pick:
Beautiful Sponsored Posts/Content Creation
With ad blocking on the rise in 2016, marketers have become very creative with new ways to get impressions. I have loved seeing beautiful sponsored posts from content creators on platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, who integrate advertising in their feeds.

Jen Maki, Production Manager
Top Pick: Tesla Solar Roof Tiles
The coolest thing that tops my list from 2016 is Tesla’s creation of beautiful — and functional — solar roof tiles. With the recent rejection of Amendment 1 (Florida Solar Energy Subsidies and Personal Solar Use), we seem poised for a surge in solar energy popularity and affordability.

Adam Berry, Digital Director
Top Pick: Canva
I’m not sure if this is new, but it’s awesome. I discovered Canva this year. Canva is an online design tool for social media graphics, illustrations, posters, cards, etc. You don’t have to be a skilled designer to make impactful graphics for your brand. And better yet, it’s free for single users. Good design, good experience, and good price (free!). That’s the trifecta.

You’ve read through all of ours, so what are some of your favorite things to come out of 2016?