YouTube has just released the January 2016 YouTube Ads Leaderboard showcasing the top ads people chose to watch last month. With caucus and primary season heating up, political ads leapt onto the Leaderboard for the first time ever, taking three of the 10 spots. Clash of Clans also continued its year-end domination by landing #1 for a consecutive month and claiming two spots on the list.

Now, YouTube first launched its monthly Ads Leaderboard in April 2013. So, there is no way of telling whether a political ad like “Yes We Can - Barack Obama Music Video” would have made it onto a similar chart if it had existed in February 2008. But, the fact that there are three political ads and only one Super Bowl ad on January’s YouTube Ads Leaderboard highlights what people choose to watch. Each list is derived purely quantitatively, through a methodology that keys into the most potent signals of audience engagement – whether viewers choose to watch and share (both in an ad and organic context) and how long they watch. Here are some of the highlights:

Political Video Ads: YouTube January 2016

  • The three political ads that landed on the U.S. Ads Leaderboard were promotional clips from Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz, and Our Principles PAC. With the election heating up, YouTube is proving as important a platform as ever for campaigns to engage and reach potential voters and supporters.
  • Bernie Sanders’ “America” ad, set to the music of Simon & Garfunkel and released in the run-up to the Iowa Caucus, struck a chord with viewers and surged to #5 overall.
  • Ted Cruz’s “Invasion” ad, and an anti-Trump ad, The Trump Tapes: Vol. 1, from Our Principles PAC round out the January Leaderboard at #9 and #10 respectively.

Continuing last month’s domination, Clash of Clans takes the first two spots on the Leaderboard, marking its 10th and 11th appearance on the Leaderboard overall. Both spots continue last month’s campaign and featured real gameplay from users as narrated by Christoph Waltz. For the second month in a row, game ads take half the spots on the Leaderboard. Aside from Clash of Clans, the Leaderboard includes spots from Boom Beach, Pokémon and Candy Crush Saga.

Official January 2016 YouTube Ads Leaderboard

1. Clash of Clans: Traps (Official TV Commercial), 18.6M views

2. Clash of Clans: A Special Map (Official TV Commercial), 11M views

3. #Pokemon20: Pokémon Super Bowl Commercial, 10.6M views

4. Boom Beach: Dr. T's Song (Official TV Commercial), 3.4M views

5. America | Bernie Sanders, 2.8M views

6. Drone Racing League: The Sport of the Future | DRL, 1.4M views

7. Meet the real Jelly Queen! - TV ad - Candy Crush Jelly Saga, 1.3M views

8. Dear Kitten: Beginnings // Presented By BuzzFeed & Friskies, 825K views

9. Invasion: Ted Cruz, 624K views

10. The Trump Tapes: Vol. 1, 587K views

Overall, there were 50 million views for the whole Leaderboard. And there were 9 million minutes of watch time - a total of 73 years and 295 days!

So, what can video marketers learn from the January 2016 YouTube Ad Leaderboard? For starters, all 10 of the video ads tap into some very basic human emotions. Watching them will trigger a range of emotional reactions, some positive, some negative. The technological advances in the technology of advertising has changed dramatically during the past 30 years, but the impact of emotion in ads has remained the same.