Our readers' 10 favorite ads of 2016

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Which ads were viewed the most in 2016? Puppies, puns and politics, of course.

The year’s most popular work runs the gamut, from bizarre comedy to poignant and political verse. As expected for an election year, politics weighed heavily on the product. Perhaps as a panacea, viewers kept tuning in to cute dogs, too. That an ode to diversity ranks here with professional comedians, a tech giant and one of the most successful campaign powerhouses of the last decade goes to show that a good idea—backed by solid execution—can stand on its own merits.

10. "Ice-T sets up a lemonade stand in Geico's latest spot" by The Martin Agency

Geico work is a perpetual crowdpleaser, and a celebrity cameo only sweetens the…tea. As is typical for the brand, it’s a funny, silly take on an absurd situation that makes the most of Geico’s near-ubiquitous name recognition.

9. "Geico puts a sumo wrestler on ice" by The Martin Agency

If Ice-T’s lemonade stand sparks a smirk, the physical comedy of this spot, along with smart voiceover dialogue, should trigger toothy smiles. Geico double dips on this year’s top 10 list—the only brand to do so—thanks to pure goofiness.

8. "Dove chocolate ad traces the life of a woman with no regrets" by BBDO New York

The Groundhog Day twist at the end is lost on some viewers, but it’s not necessary to enjoy this impeccably scored ode to living in the moment.

7. "Without its cows, Chick-fil-A goes 'crazy' in new campaign" by Erich & Kallman

For the first time in 20 years, Chick-fil-A released an ad that didn’t feature its spelling-challenged cows. The chicken joint tapped a new agency, founded by CP+B and Barton F. Graf alums, for this historically referential comedic campaign.

6. "Microsoft asks, 'Can you name a female inventor?'" by m:united

Microsoft followed up its 2015 "Girls Do Science" campaign with this STEM-focused work that debuted on International Women’s Day. A simple question cuts to the heart of the issue, triggering new conversations about equality of opportunity and recognition.

5. "A lost dog unites Trump and Clinton supporters for Pedigree" by BBDO New York

Less than a week before the 2016 presidential election, Pedigree released this feel-good spot that appealed to viewers from both sides of the aisle. Post-election, it’ll probably take an army of goldens to bridge the divide.

4. "Old Navy enlists SNL alums to improvise series of online spots" by Chandelier Creative

Chandelier let current and former "Saturday Night Live" stars improv their way through these spots, using Old Navy clothes as inspirational attire and an assortment of kitschy Americana as props.

3. "University of Phoenix ad remakes 'Wizard of Oz' scarecrow song" by 180 LA

This inversion of the classic ditty turned stereotypes of non-traditional students on their straw-filled heads. It’s less colorful than Oz, but at the end of the road lies better job security and healthcare coverage.

2. "Dogs flood a room to synchronize swim for Farmers Insurance" by RPA

Our readers love dogs. RPA flooded a living room to provide a troupe of athletic canines with an indoor swimming pool. Timed for the Olympics, the campaign also featured breathless commentary from "sports" announcers.

1. "On election eve, Johnnie Walker airs a stirring rejection of Trump's vision" by Anomaly New York

Topping this year’s list is another election-adjacent spot, a defiant retelling of Woody Guthrie’s "This Land is Your Land," itself a political anthem, not just a message of inclusion and camaraderie.

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