John Lennon Wants Kids to Have Solar-Power Laptops

Suzanne Byrne by Suzanne Byrne | December 30th, 2008 | 4 Comments
topic: Celebrity Planet, Green Living


The XO laptop isn't just green in color -- it's eco-friendly!

The XO laptop OLPC is giving out isn't just green in color -- it's eco-friendly!

…or so it seems.

The late music legend John Lennon is being posthumously featured in a new 30-second ad promoting the charitable foundation One Laptop per Child (OLPC).

The charity’s goal is to deliver solar-powered laptops to poor kids around the world. So in the commercial, which is called “A Message from John Lennon,” you hear the former Beatles’ voice, created through the use of digital technology, talk about the potential impact the laptops would have for a child.

“Imagine every child, no matter where in the world they were, could access a universe of knowledge,” says the singer, who was murdered in 1980. “They would have a chance to learn, to dream, to achieve anything they want. I tried to do it through my music, but now you can do it in a very different way.”

Donors can give $199 for one XO laptop or, through Dec. 31, pay $399 for two children’s laptops with one going to a child in developing country. The other can be kept by the donor or given to a deserving child. 

The great thing about the XO laptop is that they’re eco-friendly. Because they could be used in remote areas with unreliable or limited energy sources, the XO laptop requires one-tenth of the electrical power necessary to run a typical laptop. It’s been designed to run without an electrical input so that children around the world can use human-generated and solar energy to power it. In addition, the toxins found in most laptops  including mercury and lead  have been dramatically reduce or eliminated.

John’s widow, Yoko Ono, who’s typically selective about the way her late husband’s image is used, approved the commercial, which started airing on Thursday.

“We deeply appreciate Yoko Ono’s support in allowing us to create the spot and we hope that its message will get people to imagine the power of education to change the world,” founder and chairman of OLPC Nicholas Negroponte said in a statement.

View the ad here.

Talk back: Do you think John’s voice sounds realistic or too digitized? How do you feel about having artists or celebrities appearing in ads posthumously?


  1. The ad made me uncomfortable. It doesn’t sound like him at all. I don’t want dead people pitching me things either — chartable or for profit. It’s like — how does someone know that John Lennon would endorse this specific thing? It’s like his estate is just trying to make money off of him.

    shelly guvan | December 30th, 2008 | Comment Permalink
  2. I’m a huge JOhn Lennon fan but I agree that it doesn’t sound like him. If Yoko wanted to promote this, she should have just done it herself.

    Joyce | December 31st, 2008 | Comment Permalink
  3. That is wonderful that technology can do things like this today. It sounds just like him.

    katron1020 | June 16th, 2009 | Comment Permalink
  4. John Lennon Wants Kids to Have Solar-Power Laptops
    - Gaiam Blog is a fantastic item of writing, I’m showing my buddies.

    Vickey | May 26th, 2015 | Comment Permalink

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