Stop The Presses!

New Lennon Ad: All You Need Is Laptop

Lyndsey Parker
Stop The Presses!

It may seem hard to believe in this era of ubiquitous commercial song placement, but when the Beatles' "Revolution" was used in a 1987 Nike ad, it caused a major uproar among Fab Four fans, who cried sellout.

However, more than two decades later, Paul McCartney is selling CDs at Starbucks, Ringo Starr is starring in commercials for everything from Pizza Hut to Oldsmobile, and logical Beatles successors Coldplay and U2 are shilling for iTunes. So a new beyond-the-grave ad starring John Lennon--while a little creepy--shouldn't create too much of a fuss in 2008.

Furthermore, the new ad is for the One Laptop Per Child Foundation, a charity organization that supplies solar-powered computers to the world's poorest children--so accusations of "selling out" are hardly appropriate here. It is a little disconcerting to hear Lennon's digitized voice say, "You can give a child a laptop," when laptops didn't even exist at the time of his death in 1980...but John's widow Yoko Ono granted the charity full permission to air this ad.

Sure, Yoko probably wouldn't want her husband's Scouse accent digitally recreated for, say, a Pizza Hut promo spot (sorry, Ringo). But obviously, and understandably, she believes the One Laptop Per Child Foundation is worthy of Lennon's legendary voice.

Granted, it's a somewhat robotic voice--specifically, archived bits of Lennon audio cobbled together via computer--but the overall effect is certainly a lot more tasteful than that time the late Fred Astaire waltzed with a vacuum cleaner during a controversial Super Bowl ad. Vacuuming is indeed a noble pursuit, but funding unprivileged children's education is definitely nobler, after all.

Watch the new One Laptop Per Child PSA here. It's John Lennon, and surely he would approve this message:

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