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Treetop Barbie March 5, 2009

Posted by David Gillespie in branding, marketing, philosophy, politics, work/life.
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On the subway this morning I was watching the below TED talk by Nalini Nadkarni on her work as an ecologist, studying life in the canopies of rainforests. It’s a great talk which i recommend you check out, my favourite part though was her institution’s appropriation of every girl’s favourite doll, Barbie.

They buy them from thrift stores and other cheap outlets then hand-sew costumes for them and send them out. They’re also available for purchase which makes me wish I had cousins who were young enough to get one for!

A few thoughts:

  • I love the appropriation of a classic symbol, recast with new meaning in this day and age
  • Is this brand-jacking? Maybe, but not in a way that casts the original in a bad light
  • If I were Mattel I would be all over this. Nalini’s group send a booklet out with each Barbie on the work they do, Mattel could release a whole line of eco-warrior Barbie, created entirely from renewable materials in a series of different guises. Sea-Rescue Barbie, Treetop Barbie…Ivory Coast Barbie? (ouch!)

I’m wondering about other campaigns, brands, products, services, whatever. Major symbols like Barbie that can be given new purpose in an eco-aware age. There’s a lot of chatter right now on how green issues will be cast aside as people just try to hang on to their homes, I’m hoping initiatives like this might manage to keep it front of mind for people.

This post is also a special dedicatuion to Alex White, one of my best friends and a tireless eco-warrior himself. He gets married to an extraodinary woman (hi Fern!) tomorrow, a wedding I am sadly not in Australia for. Mate, I love you to absolute pieces and am sorry I can’t be there to share your special day. I cannot wait to hear about it, watch the videos and catch up when I’m back home at the end of the year.

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Stephen Conroy boxes glacier, loses November 14, 2008

Posted by David Gillespie in politics, technology, work/life.
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See the below clip for Stephen Conroy being questioned on his Internet filter by Green’s Senator Scott Ludlam from Western Australia.

It always struck me that one of the best backhanded compliments you could give a person in public office was that they were an excellent policitian. The criteria for such a remark is generally an innate ability to avoid answering a direct and obvious question, and to finish speaking leaving your audience feeling somehow diminished for having listened in the first place.

With this in mind, Stephen Conroy strikes me as a masterful and utterly natural politician. My hat is off to Scott Ludlam for taking it to Mr. Conroy, Scott anything you need from the folk out here, just ask.

A open letter to Stephen Conroy October 31, 2008

Posted by David Gillespie in industry news, philosophy, politics, social media, technology, web 2.0, work/life.

Many international readers will not be familiar with the goings on of the Australian political landscape. Back in January I wrote about some unfortunate measures Australia’s recently-elected Government was planning to introduce, suffice to say our elected officials are engaged in a well-meaning but ill-informed program of censoring the access Australians have to the Internet. While looking in to the issue I’ve come to learn I reside in what is by law the most heavily censored Westernised nation, something I find rather ironic considering Sex & The City ran free-to-air here while it was confined to cable State-side.

Regardless, I have written an open letter to Stephen Conroy, the honourable member behind the intiative. Let it be known his intentions are good, but in practice his methodology is flawed, and imposing unnecessary (not to mention ineffective) rules upon the lives of ordinary Australians will achieve few, if any, of the aims of the program.

To read my letter to Mr. Conroy, please head on over to Marketing Magazine. If you feel as strongly as I do, please also visit Keep Your Filter Off Our Internet to learn how you can get involved.

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The Democratic race in 8 minutes June 20, 2008

Posted by David Gillespie in marketing, politics, web 2.0.
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This hilarious short comes courtesy of Slate. The race for the Democratic nomination in less time than it takes to drink a cup of coffee.

With thanks to the recently discovered and completely brilliant Now In Colour.

Happy weekend everyone

P.S. Yes we can.

Yes We Can February 24, 2008

Posted by David Gillespie in politics.
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Coming to the party a bit late on this, had had the video loaded for a couple days before I got around to watching it. But it’s a great speech, and gave me chills in places. Obama is more than anyone living outside the US has had to hope for in a long, long time. If only there was a system by which the rest of the world could have a say, because the President of the United States invariably becomes everyone else’s president, whether we like it or not.

But I wouldn’t mind this one, not one bit.

Australia’s new government moves to censor the internet January 4, 2008

Posted by David Gillespie in politics.
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This has been heavily discussed over the blogosphere over the last few days, but it is worth making sure it receives a necessary amount if the right attention.

In an alarming and disappointing move for a party that swept to power on the popular assessment that the incumbent government had “lost touch”, the Rudd Government has announced its intention to censor internet content available to Australians.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is a former diplomat to China and speaks fluent Mandarin which I personally think is a great thing for a modern Australian Prime Minister. But a move like this takes us politically closer to China in the worst possible way. While it will apparently be possible to opt-out of this feature, there is no mention of any additional scrutiny such moves will garner.

Lee Hopkins has more, as do TechCrunch.