In the recent AdLibbing post “The Movement Movement” the author asks the question, “Can you call something a movement if no one has moved on it yet?” I say yes.
Ms. Lehner’s position is that a campaign isn’t a movement just because you call it one. She defines a movement as “tons of people and heaps of social change coupled with watershed moments and whole shifts in being (see: African – American Civil Rights Movement).”
I see it differently. Using the Merriam-Webster definition of “a series of organized activities working toward an objective; an organized effort to promote or attain an end” I think any campaign with a clear goal/objective has the potential to be a movement (even if some end up failing). A movement doesn’t have to be as lofty as civil rights or breast cancer awareness. As StrawberryFrog, the (self-proclaimed) world’s first Cultural Movement agency, showed us – even hummus can have a movement behind it.
If a product, issue or organization can create a deep connection with an individual and then translate that experience into a broader group identity (a la Apple or VW) I don’t think we should shy away from calling them movements.
In closing her article, Ms. Lehner writes, “I wonder – when they first started out, was the movement language in there? If not, is that the way to do it – wait for the groundswell to happen first and then move to the movement talk?” It’s a good question and one worth reposting.