Manifesto: from the Italian, “a public declaration.” Earliest English citation 1620.
Karl Marx published one about communism in 1848. Tristan Tzara issued one about Dada in 1918. Richard Stallman wrote one about GNU in 1985. British political parties have had them since 1900 (or 1834, if you count Sir Robert Peel’s Tamworth Manifesto).
During last year’s presidential campaign, business owner and “job creator” Steven Pearlstein wrote one that appeared in the Washington Post.
Sheryl Sandberg “sort of” has one.
Acumen (formerly the Acumen Fund) has one that’s incorporated into its new logo. It “serves as a moral compass to ground us in the kinds of leaders we hope to be and to reflect the values of leadership required in an interconnected world.”
Logos via Brand New blog.
People who want a break from e-gadgets have a manifesto.
The Sabbath Manifesto, “slowing down lives since 2010.”
Yoga-wear retailer Lululemon has a manifesto.
“Life is full of setbacks.”
Housewares/furniture designer Jonathan Adler has a manifesto. This is only part of it.
“WE BELIEVE tassels are the earrings of the home.”
Her hands are gloved in purple paint because purple was “the color of absolute seduction for Mr. Saint Laurent.” The fragrance’s tagline is “Daring Is an Art.”
The last word (for now) on manifestos goes to copywriter-turned-novelist John Kenney. This is from his new novel, Truth in Advertising (Touchstone, New York, 2013):
And what is a manifesto, you might ask?
You may have a vague notion from history class that a manifesto once referred to the soul of a revolution: blood, sweat, and tears on paper, codifying women’s rights, civil rights, human rights, economic justice, religious freedom. Today, it’s about diapers. Or cars. Or refrigerators. Or gas grills. Or dental floss. In advertising, a manifesto is something that sums up a brand, one page, maybe two hundred words. Name the product and my people will write the manifesto for it. Superlative claims, a badly skewed world view, sentences like, “Because let’s be honest—what’s more important at the end of your day than your family … and their enjoyment of grilled meats?”