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By Rebecca Stewart | Trends Editor

December 8, 2016 | 4 min read

As we shake the dust of 2016 off our feet, YouTube has unveiled a mash-up of this year's top videos, fronted by none other than its own cretators, as well as revealing the most popular branded videos on the platform.

The slick #YouTubeRewind spot (above) centres around the theme of challenges in a bid to acknowledge that the past twelve months have been full of them – from the Mannequin Challenge to the testing Pokemon Go fad.

This year, more than 200 YouTube stars from 18 countries accepted YouTube's challenge to pay homage to the year's biggest videos, memes, channels, songs and pop culture moments of 2016.

Set to an original remix of this year's biggest hits by Major Lazer, the video admires this year's top trending videos on the platform, and also features a few sneaky Google Pixel phone appearances.

This year's most popular videos

adele carpool karaoke

Taking the top spot in the Google-owned platform's rankings was Adele's stint on James Corden's carpool karaoke which has clocked up over 136m views since it was uploaded in January.

Scooping second place in YouTube's viral chart was a single from Japanese artist called Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen, while a niche film uncovering what was inside a Rattlesnake's Rattle took third place with 59m views and counting.

Nike scooped fourth place with its Euro 2016 spot, 'The Switch' which starred a body-swapping Cristiano Ronaldo and was the only branded video to make it into the overall top 10. Elsewhere, completing the top five was a sweet video of 12-year-old Grace VanderWaal getting a golden buzzer on America's got talent.

YouTube has created a dedicated channel showing the top 10 most popular videos of the year, which between them have 550m views and were watched for over 25 million hours.

2016's most viral ads

Unilever's Knorr links flavour and love in campaign to target foodie millennials

Separately, the video platform has collated the most popular ads of the year. The leaderboard looks at the most watched and engaging branded videos of the year and showcases a mixture of emotive and tongue-in-cheek spots.

Mobile proved to be a key platform for viewers again this year, across the five Super Bowl ads on YouTube's year-end Leaderboard, 81% of watch time came from mobile devices, with over 205m combined mobile views.

Taking the top spot for the most viral ad of the year was Mobile Strike's Super Bowl campaign, 'Arnold's Fight' to which Arnold Schwarzenegger lended his acting talents.

In second place was Knorr's global 'Love At First Taste' film which paired together 14 single people based on their flavour preferences to see if a shared passion for certain tastes would ignite chemistry between the two.

Nike's 'The Switch' featured again at number three, while Samsung's sleek 'Official Introduction' took fourth place with over 46m views.

Clash Royale completed the top five, while other notbale ads from the year including Mountain Dew's 'Puppymonkeybaby' and Always' #LikeAGirl featured in the top ten.

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