Another arena has opened for Apple and Samsung to compete for the crown of ‘most cool’: advertising. For some time, the iPhone maker has had the ad market sewn up, producing luscious videos of products while creating family-friendly spots so sweet they make your teeth hurt. However, it appears the South Korea-based Samsung is giving Apple a run for the money, its Galaxy S III spot being named the most popular tech ad in 2012.

Apple’s promo video of the iPhone 5 starring Jony Ive & Co. didn’t even break into the Top 5, the seven-minute ad reaching #6 with 18.4 million views on YouTube and elsewhere. The #1 Galaxy S III ad takes Apple to task as a brand past its prime, drew 71.8 million views…

Intel took #2.

According to Visible Measures (via AllThingsD), a video measurement outfit, Samsung ads took four of the top 10 tech ads in 2012. Along with first place, the company’s Galaxy Note II spot with Lebron James took #3. The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 was #4 and another Samsung ad took eighth.

Google, LG and Microsoft ads also ranked in the top 10, according to the measurement firm.

Visible Measures uses something called “true reach” views, which it says includes video clips on YouTube and other video sites, as well as derivatives such as parodies.

This is the iPhone 5 promo video, streamable via Apple’s home page or from YouTube. You may have also seen it rolling at carrier stores.

http://youtu.be/xNsGNlDb6xY

Right below: Samsung’s S III ad proclaiming that “the next big thing is already here”.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nf5-Prx19ZM&feature=youtu.be

This isn’t the first black eye for Apple when it comes to advertising.

AdAge reported Apple passed on buying a spot during the 2013 Super Bowl, one of the most-anticipated showplaces of advertising firepower.

The Mac maker used the January event to introduce itself to the world with the famous “1984” ad which pitted the new Mac against the totalitarian-like PC.

Twenty-six years later, a Motorola Xoom ad exploited the “1984” underdog theme, having spun the concept in the opposite direction in order to paint Apple as today’s Big Brother.

The Intel/Toshiba clip attracted 54.4 million views.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JuiYrE46GO0

LeBron’s Day with the Samsung Galaxy Note II, a 60-second commercial, was viewed 42.2 million times.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lB8586Qu0eY

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10.1 introduction video garnered 22.9 million views.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbgBxr4H59A

Google’s Project Glass video: 20.8 million hits

LG’s elevator meme was quite clever: 17.3 million views.

The Galaxy Note II commercial scored 16.4 million views.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmDtXHOi7bQ

The Nexus 7 promo was viewed 13.8 million times.

Microsoft’s weird Surface teaser:13.6 million views.

Mind you, Google is directly or indirectly involved in more than half of the clips.

Ad views paint a partial picture so I wouldn’t jump to premature conclusions. These videos are mostly forced upon viewers, as contrasted to performing web searches as part of the purchase decision process. According to Yahoo and Bing, the iPhone 5 was the most searched for gadget of 2012, beating out celebrities like Kim Kardashian and rival devices.

Now, the top ranking in advertising may be the pay-off for Samsung Electronics’ huge investment in marketing.

Reportedly, the smartphone and tablet maker’s annual budget is as much as $12 billion annually, eclipsing an estimated billion dollars or so in Apple’s yearly ad budget.

Of course, with several dozen smartphones, tablets and other gadgets in its lineup and the desire to position itself as Apple’s closest rival justify the huge spending on advertising.

Samsung’s top showing in today’s rankings makes you wonder whether the South Korean firm will be subject of water-cooler talk following the Super Bowl.

Of course, we have seen some tech firms explode on the scene with outrageously-funning ads, only to wither away. With Apple out, rivals such as Google and Microsoft will have an open field to promote their iPad alternatives.

Is there any importance to tech advertising?

Has Apple grown to the point where it is so well known that advertising is not as key as previously seen?