Manifestos are about change and there are two types of change. You’re either saying ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to something.
Today I share ten Manifesto examples that say NO. It will help inspire you to write your manifesto.
Plus, I share a simple two-step strategy to help you write your NO Manifesto.
1 Yvonne Rainer, No Manifesto
The poster child for NO manifestos is Yvonne Rainer’s No Manifesto. I featured her manifesto in this post.
Traditional dance tells a story through movement. It’s full of grand gestures and sweeping movements.
But during the 1960s, experimental dance stopped doing this. Instead, they wanted dance to show how people move.
To highlight this shift, Yvonne Rainer’s No Manifesto states 13 things dancers need to STOP doing. For instance, she said no to spectacle, style and camp.
2 Stop the Coward Punch
In the past 20 years over 170 Australians have lost their lives to a coward’s punch.
A coward’s punch is when you hit someone who isn’t expecting it and is unprotected. This might be a random attack or king hitting someone from behind.
Former professional boxer Danny Green is leading the campaign to Stop the Coward Punch.
The powerful thing here is the label – a coward’s punch. Nobody wants to be known as a coward. It’s a call to action (stop punching) by an appeal to identity (don’t be a coward).
3 Taylor Swift Anti-Hero
I’m not a Swiftie – no surprise there – but if you are you’ll be all over this.
Pop superstar Taylor Swift wrote a song called Anti-Hero (Wikipedia). It’s the lead single on her 10th album, Midnights (2022).
The song is about anxiety, depression and self-loathing. And Swift’s personal shortcomings.
Swift’s song led to the Anti-Hero Challenge. The challenge is to acknowledge your unique traits – even the chaotic ones – in a fun way and it inspired thousands of videos on TikTok and YouTube.
4 Quit Smoking
Smoking causes 16 different cancers. It costs millions of lives worldwide every year.
Plus, it costs our public health systems billions of dollars every year. It follows that public health organisations around the world have strong campaigns to encourage you to quit smoking.
There is also a growing campaign worldwide to ban smoking. That’s two NO campaigns – QUIT smoking (personal) and BAN (society).
5 Ban Comic Sans
We call on the common man to rise up in revolt against this evil…
Is this a call to arms against AI? The Nazis? Vaccines? No, it was a call to arms against…
It’s part of the Ban Comic Sans manifesto. And it’s all because Comic Sans is a silly font, it’s childish and far too casual.
If you see evil in the world then you must stand up and write a manifesto to stop it.
And in this video (above), there’s a funny sendup of Hitler reacting to Comic Sans that puts it all in perspective.
6 End the Age of Plastics
Single-use plastic is harmful to our health, our communities, our climate and the planet.
In March 2022, at the UN Environmental Assembly, governments from around the globe officially adopted a mandate to pursue the legally binding Global Plastics Treaty.
The goal, to be completed by the end of 2024, is to create a plastic-free world.
Greenpeace’s six-point plan aims to stop plastic production and end the age of plastic.
7 Apple’s Big Brother Ad
In 1949, English author George Orwell wrote a book called 1984 – it was about a dystopian world ruled by Big Brother.
And in the year, 1984, this became an obvious inspiration for Apple. They released an advertisement directed by Ridley Scott. It was only shown once on national TV – during the Super Bowl – and it doesn’t show a single computer or Apple product. Instead, it sent a deeper message.
At the time, computing was dominated by Big Blue – IBM. Apple was a market minnow.
Further, IBM owned the mainframe space and they were promoting the view that the world only needed a handful of big computers to run the world. Yep, a big brother approach.
In contrast, Apple wanted to democratise computing. They wanted everyone to own their own device. And they were about to release their new Macintosh desktop computer.
This manifesto example is a brand battle. But Apple were able to turn it into a social cause. It uses visual storytelling and a powerful and perfectly timed metaphor to say NO to a business competitor.
8 End the Word
“Spread the word to end the word” Yes, that’s a contradiction – but it does catch your attention.
In 2009, as part of the Special Olympics World Winter Games, began a campaign to end the use of the r-word (retard) to describe people with intellectual disabilities.
Since its launch in 2009, it has morphed from a no campaign to a yes campaign – now it’s known as Spread the Word: Inclusion.
9 Abolish Slavery
Slavery is the ownership of a person. Typically, it means they are forced to do work.
While slavery is officially outlawed around the world, there are still an estimated 40 million people who are enslaved. And around a quarter or 10 million of these are children.
The campaign to end slavery continues: https://www.antislavery.org/
10 WHO and the End of the Pandemic
Remember this date: May 4, 2023. It’s the official day when the COVID-19 pandemic ended.
It became official when Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director of the World Health Organisation declared it so. He wasn’t saying that COVID had been eradicated. Instead, he was saying the levels of infection and spread had dropped enough that it was no longer a global health emergency.
This manifesto example is different to all of the others on this list. It’s not saying we should end this, it’s saying it has ended. It’s like declaring:
- A ceasefire in a war.
- A football player saying ‘I retire’.
- Saying ‘I quit’ my job.
- Or a divorce – this marriage, this partnership has now officially ended.
What have you ended that you need to declare to yourself or others?
How to Write a No Manifesto – Simple Formula
To help you write a manifesto – especially a NO manifesto, here is a simple formula you can use.
The manifesto examples here were specifically chosen because they highlight different ‘NO’ words. They include: no, stop, anti, quit, ban, end and abolish.
To write your manifesto simply choose a ‘no word’ from this list and add it to your cause or issue.
The formula is ‘no word’ + ‘issue’. Stop + smoking. Abolish + slavery. Ban + Comic Sans.
More Manifesto Examples
If you want more Manifesto Examples (or to write a manifesto) then you might want to read these posts next: