OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Pass it on - Build awareness through cryptically signed cards passed from friend to friend

"Be my match. Tag. You're it. Pass it on." A wallet-sized business card that can be handed from friend to friend, encouraging the reciever to visit the website, learn about the process, and register. Signed by everyone who has received the card before and paired with a cryptic message and 2D barcode, the card can peak the reciever's curiosity and encourage them to join bandwagon along with their friends.

Photo of Nancy Phan
15 12

Written by

Card Front (See Image) -
1) A simple message to peak the person's curiousity and challenge them to what seems like a playful task. "Be my match. Tag. You're It."

Card Back (See Image) -
1) A 2D barcode that can lead the user to a website that teaches them everything about being a marrow donor and help them register.
2) A simple message to encourage the reciever to pay it forward: "Pass it on."
3) An initial signature from a celebrity(s) to start the trend. For example, a signature of Shaq who is a spokesperson on the site. Each user who visits the website is encouraged to sign the back and pass it on to the next person.

Website (See Image) -
1) Educational information to help the receiver learn about all the facts.
2) A quick entrypoint to register.
(Or see other concept - /open/how-might-we-increase-the-number-of-bone-marrow-donors-to-help-save-more-lives/concepting/be-my-match-hear-their-stories.-meet-the-recepients./)

3) A card tracking map that let's you follow your card around the world. Card location is updated each time a person has scanned the card & gone to the website.

Art Displays (See Image)
1) Completed cards can be sent back to a central location where an artist can make an art sculpture out of the cards. Just like ceramic art is commissioned by cities to be decorated, this can be commissioned to be displayed at different hospitals.


Leverages influencers in the person's social network -
People tend to trust the recommendations of their friends over those of random strangers. Friends can be strong influencers and can help facilitate educating the receiver of the card about the entire process with potentially more successful outcome than, for example, strangers at a bone marrow information booth. The physical interation of passing the card along adds a human element and social obligation on the reciever to try out the website while their friend's actual signature on the back declares a rubber stamp of approval. If everyone else on the card is doing it, why not them? If they have questions, they know exactly who they might be able to ask.

Leverages celebrities' networks-
A single tweet from a celebrity can go a long way. John Mayer's tweet about the iPhone App Words with Friends shot it up the app charts and brought millions of new users. If the celebrity is the first to start the chain and spread the word, the cards may go more viral.

Playful - Peaks curiousity even if found on the street -
Because the card is slightly cryptic in both the messaging and the mysterious signature that can be on the back, even people who find this lying on the street, will want to "solve the puzzle" and inquire what it is about. If the celebrity signature is recognizable, it is yet another reason for the person to go to the website via the 2D barcode.
The traveling luggage/teddybear -
It's always great see the bumper sticker and decorations that adorn a traveling teddybear or luggage. Though simple objects, their appearence tell a story about where they've been and their history. This card is the same. Instead of bumper stickers it has it's own breadcrumb trail of all the people that joined the fight and registered to be a donor.
Puzzle solving -
Scavenger hunts are always fun and when faced with a challenge, it's kind of fun to try to figure out the puzzle. This card is the same, it encourages the person to solve the puzzle, invest the time, and quell their curiosity.

Which barrier(s) does your concept address?

  • Fear
  • Misunderstanding
  • Time
  • Feeling rushed
  • Cultural beliefs

Which step(s) of the journey does your concept apply to?

  • Awareness
  • Registration
  • Spread the word


Join the conversation:

Photo of DeletedUser


I love this idea - it's simple, cost-effective, and unobtrusive. You just pass the card to someone you know and continue on your merry way!! I think the mystery on the card is enough of a reason to look up what you've just been handed. The more circles of people we could get this idea into, the better.

Have you ever heard of geocaching? It's a GPS scavenger hunt that is literally all over the world. I met up with an old friend in Bangkok, and we randomly spent the afternoon exploring and geocaching. We used his handheld GPS to locate the coordinates of a specific geocache box given on their website, and we covertly searched under a few rocks near a tree. Everyone who ever finds each specific box adds something small so they can take something small. As evidence of how random these boxes are, I believe we left a keychain and funny quote and took a tiny plastic jack-in-the-box! I bet if we could get a social movement going to leave these cards in geocaches all over the world, we could easily reach people worldwide!

View all comments