In 2009, tech advertising took a sharp turn toward the negative. After years of being sucker-punched by Apple's anti-Windows ads, Microsoft finally fought back with a series of "Laptop Hunter" ads in which real people rejected Macs as overpriced and short on substance.
Verizon Wireless, meanwhile, promoted its Droid handset in part by attacking Apple's iPhone as limited and...well, kind of a girlyphone. It also slammed AT&T's 3G coverage in a series of ads that prompted AT&T to respond both on TV and in court.
It was enough to leave observers pining for the calm, reasoned discourse of political campaign ads. But truth to tell, tech companies have been sniping at the competition in advertising for as long as they've advertised their wares. And YouTube is bursting at the seams with evidence.