Let’s face it: 2016 has definitely been one for the history books. The unexpected has become the new normal, and it seems like we’re not surprised by anything anymore. Although it may have been a crazy year worldwide, 2016 brought some pretty incredible moments to the world of marketing. Let’s relive some of the best bits and how we felt about our top marketing moments of 2016.

We laughed (maybe a bit too hard)

If one of your New Year’s Resolutions was to get back to the gym, you probably created a killer playlist to get you pumped up and ready to go. Apple Music’s commercial series featured Drake and Taylor Swift rocking out at the gym to each other’s hits.

The first commercial in the series featured Taylor Swift preparing for a treadmill run by playing a Drake song on Apple Music. We all realized our worst fears when she got a little too into the music, but we definitely had a good laugh. A few months later, the tables were turned when Drake used Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” as his weightlifting hype song. Again, we had a good laugh at the humanity of these celebrities, but we were also made aware of Apple Music’s free 3-month trial.

We were inspired

We’ve all felt the effects of stereotypes at some point, so the Always “#LikeAGirl” campaign was a big hit from the get-go. Always expanded upon their successful ad campaign by creating the emoji edition in 2016.

This marketing campaign takes real-time reactions of girls noticing how they are portrayed with emojis, and then deciding what kind of emojis they’d like to see in the future. Always managed to capitalize on the inspiration created by their previous campaign and took the next step forward to address stereotypes. We’re not crying, you are.

We felt the shade

Losing subscribers is never fun, but the way to get them back might just be in your response. Hulu’s bold “Thanks for cancelling” campaign was the perfect combination of sass and customer service to make clients reconsider, even if only for a week.

It takes guts to admit a shortcoming, but Hulu did just that in an email campaign that followed users after they cancelled their subscriptions. The television streaming company capitalized on complaints by acknowledging them and acting upon their clients’ needs. As a result, the creative email campaign was born. We’re big fans of this one because it shows that Hulu listens to its customers and isn’t afraid to make fun of itself.

best marketing of 2016

We were even more social

We all love a chance to win some cash, and Esurance knew that when they designed their 2016 Superbowl campaign. Instead of shelling out millions of dollars to air an ad during the actual Superbowl program, the company decided to buy ads before and after the game. Pairing the ads with an exciting social media campaign caused #EsuranceSweepstakes to trend worldwide after the game ended.

Another social campaign that we loved was Disney’s #ShareYourEars movement in combination with the Make a Wish Foundation. It played on every child’s dream of visiting Disney World, and it connected Disney lovers around the world by taking advantage of an international symbol: Mickey’s ears.

The campaign managed to pull on viewers heartstrings from two different angles by using nostalgia and providing a chance to help terminally-ill children. We love a good social media campaign, so we really enjoyed this campaign, inspiring people to give back in a fun way.

How’s that for an emotional marketing rollercoaster? In spite of the ups and downs of 2016, we’re excited to see what trends 2017 will bring.

Join the conversation on Twitter by telling us what we missed in 2016 or what you expect to see in 2017 by using #MailjetMarketingMoments.