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It’s been a year of difficulty and strife, but also of remarkable creativity that leaned into those tensions and tried to resolve them—or at least, to inspire a way forward.
Adweek’s 10 Best Ads of 2017 tackled plenty of challenging themes—among them, journalism and politics; race and bias; and social causes including anti-bullying and gender equality. The list also includes horror and humor (in the same spot); a celebrity endorsement; a meta defictionalization of a failed 1960s ad pitch; a sports initiative that was more a test of human potential than an advertisement; a beautiful campaign from a leading social platform; and a work of art that happened to be one of the most effective PSAs ever made.