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Drumroll, please … the top YouTube ads of 2016

By Meredith Argeris

YouTube Marketing

What do cultural relevance, empowerment and mobile all have in common? Each is a prominent theme throughout the 2016 Year-End YouTube Ads Leaderboard - our annual look at the most watched and engaging ads of the year globally. Once again, advertisers delivered spots that took us on a rollercoaster of emotions, ranging from laughter to inspiration to “awwww...,” compelling viewers to both watch and share.

As we reflect on this year’s list, we see ads like Mountain Dew’s #puppymonkeybaby that added to the cultural conversation (because who doesn’t love puppies, monkeys and babies??), while spots from Always and Pokemon evoked a “can-do” spirit.

Mobile proved to be a key platform for viewers again this year. In fact, across the five Super Bowl ads on our Year-End Leaderboard, 81 percent of watch time came from mobile devices, with over 205 million combined mobile views.

And now, for your viewing pleasure, the top 10 ads of 2016 on YouTube:

  1. Official Mobile Strike Super Bowl 50 TV Commercial | Arnold's Fight [EXTENDED Edition]
  2. Knorr #LoveAtFirstTaste
  3. Nike Football Presents: The Switch ft. Cristiano Ronaldo, Harry Kane, Anthony Martial & More
  4. Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge: Official Introduction
  5. Clash Royale: Theme Song (Official TV Commercial)
  6. Mountainn Dew Kickstart: Puppymonkeybaby | Super Bowl Spot
  7. Always #LikeAGirl – Keep Playing
  8. The Chase – Hyundai Super Bowl Commercial | The 2017 Hyundai Elantra
  9. #Pokemon20: Pokémon Super Bowl Commercial
  10. Skittles: "The Portrait" w/ Steven Tyler. Super Bowl 50 Commercial

Meredith Argeris, YouTube Marketing, recently watched “John Lewis Christmas Advert 2016 - #BusterTheBoxer.”