A Manifestos Manifesto

Why advertising still needs powerful, visceral prose

Manifestos.
What a powerful way to use words.
Moving, visceral prose that might otherwise be dry strategic language.
Because you don't just need a marketing approach.
You need to feel it.
We all need to feel it.
Then everyone does their part. 
The agency can talk to the marketing department can talk to the business units can talk to the regions.
All through manifestos.
Long live the manifesto.
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But there's a crack in the tablet.
"Tablet" is a metaphor. Common in manifestos.
Several cracks, really.
Manifestos are now catch-alls.
In skilled hands, a manifesto can say any number of things.
Too many things, and yet sound decently cogent.
Just, try making the ad campaign from a multi-layered manifesto; it doesn't work.
On the other hand, try divining the meaning from a manifesto that sounds like a manifesto, but doesn't really have much to say.
That'll take you longer to figure out than it took a freelancer to write.
Bromide is what they are.
Finally, manifestos are reproducing faster than bunny rabbits making metaphors.
There are manifestos for everything.
The company. The brand. The strategy. The tagline. The creative-territory.
Soon, we'll have manifestos for manifestos.
Maybe this is one.
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But aren't manifestos really what we do?
We take abstract ideas and inputs and points-of-view.
Then we make powerful, single-minded communication out of them.
Yes!
Yes, that is what we do.
So maybe it's time we get back to that wonderful, powerful, visceral set of words.
The words that lead to action.
Words that don't say too much.
Words that aren't written for every Tom, Dick and Harriette idea.
Words that have meaning.
We can do this.
Manifestos.
Manifestos with meaning.

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John Matejczyk
John Matejczyk is co-founder and chief creative officer of M/H VCCP.