Our 25 Most Popular Brand Marketing Stories of 2017

Inclusion was key, for those who could get it right

Coca-Cola's 'Pool Boy' spot, with rival siblings pursuing the same love interest, was a hit with Adweek readers.
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From Kendall Jenner’s Pepsi ad to a swimsuit giveaway that ended up sinking its own retailer, this year had its fair share of “brand fail” moments. But on the positive end of the scale, there was also quite a bit of top-notch, innovative and inclusive work to learn from.

In fact, you might be surprised what resonated most with our readers in 2017. While there was certainly a recurring theme of brands trying (and, yes, sometimes failing) to be more inclusive and culturally resonant, there were also several unexpected marketing moments that seemed to capture the public imagination.

Check out a tally of the year’s most read stories about brand marketing on Adweek:

25. Paris Hilton Shines in SodaStream’s April Fools’ Prank About a Super-Hydrating Drop of Water

24. The 5 Worst Ads of Super Bowl LI

23. Nike Just Released a Gorgeous, Powerful Campaign Dedicated to Equality

22. A New Look at Millennials’ Favorite Brands Shows a Few Surprises Climbing the List

21. Burger King Reveals the Uncomfortable Truth About Bullying in a Remarkable In-Store Stunt

20. JetBlue Is Selling Kitschy ‘Office Souvenirs’ for Workaholics Who Never Take a Vacation

19. What Brands Can Learn From This Botched Swimsuit Giveaway

18. Pepsi Pulls Its Much-Hated Kendall Jenner Ad, Saying It ‘Missed the Mark’

17. Will Ferrell’s Darkly Comic New Ads Show How Our Devices Are Ruining Family Time

16. Watch Budweiser’s Stirring Tribute to Derek Jeter as the Yankees Retire His Number

15. Global Consultancies Are Buying Up Agencies and Reshaping the Brand Marketing World

14. Adam Driver Personally Apologizes for Snickers’ Live Super Bowl Commercial Gone Wrong

13. The Entire Family Has a Crush on the Pool Boy in One of Coca-Cola’s New ‘Taste the Feeling’ Spots

12. After 51 Years, Vans Is Finally Explaining What ‘Off the Wall’ Means

11. The Most Powerful Women in Sports: 35 Executives and Influencers Winning Over the Next Generation of Fans

10. How Budweiser Created an Epic Immigrant Story to Reclaim the Super Bowl Spotlight

9. How the Budweiser Clydesdales Became a Force in Holiday Marketing

8. Ford Made the Perfect Ad in Response to Saudi Arabia Lifting Its Ban on Women Drivers

7. Burgers, Not Boobs: Carl’s Jr. Brilliantly Flips the Script by Tearing Down Its Own Smutty Ads

6. Hey Pepsi, Here’s How It’s Done. Heineken Takes On Our Differences, and Nails It

5. The 5 Best Ads of Super Bowl LI

4. Audi’s Feminist Super Bowl Ad Is a Father-Daughter Tale About Equal Pay

3. Pepsi’s Tone-Deaf Kendall Jenner Ad Co-opting the Resistance Is Getting Clobbered in Social

2. How Pepsi Got It So Wrong: Unpacking One of the Most Reviled Ads in Recent Memory

1. The Ending of 84 Lumber’s Super Bowl Ad Is a Beautiful and Provocative Take on Immigration

See also:

Adweek’s 25 Most Popular Stories About Agencies in 2017

@griner david.griner@adweek.com David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."