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Samsung ad mocking iPhone 5 is most viewed tech ad of 2012

Mudslinging is no longer reserved for politicians; tech makers are on the loose, poking fun at other companies (or themselves) in an effort to sell more products. But who won the battle this year?

Visible Measures today released its list of the Top 10 Most Viral Video Tech Ads of 2012, awarding Samsung the Number one most watched commercial of the year.

Samsung nabbed four of the 10 spots, including three in the top five. But it was the Galaxy S III "The Next Big Thing is Already Here" advertisement (video below) that took the trophy.

The Samsung commercial shows us a group of what appears to be iPhone fans waiting in lines around the country in front of mock Apple stores trading excited quips about the new phone's features. As they wait, however, people who have already nabbed their (more full-featured) Samsung Galaxy S III go about their daily business.

The spot earned more than a million views on Samsung's YouTube channel in just one day. According to Visible Measures, it has garnered more than 71.8 million views just three months after its debut.

Additionally, the company's "LeBron's Day," the commercial aimed at pitching the Galaxy Note II phablet, took the number three spot, with more than 42 million views. The Miami Heat star began promoting the hybrid smartphone-tablet in October by showing off how the device can make day-to-day tasks effortless.

Samsung's Galaxy Note 10.1 introduction video and advertisement for the global launch of the Galaxy Note II landed in the number four spot (22.9 million views) and eight (16.3 million views) spots, respectively.

Falling about 17 million views behind Samsung's GS3 ad, Intel and Toshiba's "groundbreaking social film," as Visible Measures called it, The Beauty Inside came in second place, snagging 54.4 million views this year. Google followed, taking spots five and nine, with Project Glass and the Google Nexus 7. The LG "So Real It's Scary" IPS monitors commercial took seventh place, while Microsoft's Surface teaser campaign rounded out the group at tenth place.

Meanwhile, Apple, which took home the most watched tech ad in 2011 with the iPhone 4S introductory message, only earned one space this year, and not even in the top five. At number six, Cupertino's "Introducing iPhone 5" gathered more than 18 million hits.

"Apple's performance in video advertising hasn't grown much in 2012 while the competition has exploded," Visible Measures said in a blog post. Cupertino's overall performance actually grew 16 percent this year, but its average view count per campaign dropped 11 percent to 4.4 million views. "To stay competitive in video in 2013, Apple will need to rethink its video strategy," Visible Measures said.

The year in commercials also offers last week's Microsoft Internet Explorer 10 video, featuring a Web troll scouring the Internet for opportunities to trash Redmond's IE browser, before coming to terms with the fact that "IE sucks ... less."

Also, Amazon's one-minute Kindle commercial aired during an NFL football game, tipping what the company later revealed was the 7-inch Kindle Fire HD. Nokia got in on the Apple-mocking action in October, when it released an advertisement for its lineup of brightly colored phones — more than Cupertino can say for its black and white iModels.