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03/07/2008 - par Mark Tungate

Now the Cannes festival is behind us, I've have time to think about what the two Grand Prix winners might be telling us about 21st century culture. The « Gorilla » ad for Cadbury's milk chocolate is the least alarming of the pair. It supports my theory about the « Youtube-isation » of entertainment. Youtube has given us a taste for entertainment without context. We like these little vignettes, devoid of purpose or explanation, because they exist solely to make us smile, to distract us from the problems of our busy lives. And so, a humanoid gorilla playing drums along with Phil Collins. It's stupid, but it's stupid in a good way. Youtube has raised the inconsequential to the level of art - and Fallon has paid homage.

The Halo 3 campaign has rather more disturbing ­connotations. It created a fictional museum dedicated to a video game. Halo 3 is basically about a war, albeit a far-flung science fictional war. And here I'm tempted to draw a parallel between video games and the B-movies of the 1950s, with their aliens, flying saucers and mutant monsters. By now, everyone knows that those movies were actually metaphors for the Cold War. The aliens were invading Russians, the flying saucers were missiles, and the monsters were reds under the bed. So is Halo 3 actually a metaphor for Iraq ? Part of the campaign involves scarred veterans talking about their experiences in battle. We're told to believe in them as ­heroes. But what are we really being asked to believe in ?

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