Recipe Planebookmark Flying For A Better World


Development education at airports for Young Modern Performers




Cake base


From thinking to action


1st step - Meeting with the project team to work on the idea

The entire actions program in IMVF (Instituto Marques de Valle Flor) is discussed and analyzed. After a first meeting discussing what we would like to develop, we shared our idea with the communication department. The bookmark idea pleased everyone. Bookmarks are useful and therefore will be accepted much better than just a simple flyer, and bookmarks will be viewed many times by the readers: every time he or she opens the book. YMPs read a lot, so a bookmark can be an effective medium for addressing them with a development educational message.

Having in mind the characteristics of YMPs presented in the first meeting, we started to think about the place, the format, and the message.


2nd step – Place

Our main idea was to link the bookmark drawing to the place where the bookmark would be available. Because one of the main characteristics of YMPs is traveling, we thought: why not expose the bookmark at the airport? It’s a great place to leave messages in this form. Many people bring books, or buy books before boarding, to read them during the flight. In every airport's duty-free area there is a bookshop. So why not distribute useful things like bookmarks at the airport? This was innovative both to development education and to YMPs, because they are not used to seeing messages related to MDGs or other development topics and social concerns exposed at the airport.


3rd step - Contact the airport company management 

When contacting a big company, such as an airport, chances of success for an action increase if we address the departments that are concerned with sustainablility or other social concerns. These departments are more likely to have worked with NGOs before and therefore understand better our cause as an NGO. So, they will be more open to our ideas.

In the case of our 'planebookmark' described here in this recipe, after a first google search, we discovered the name of the responsible department for the sustainable strategy at ANA Aeroportos. We wrote a letter presenting our idea and asking for a partnership. Together with the letter we sent our previous materials. This is important, because it allows the company to see the quality of previous materials and check that the messages would not jeopardize, under any circumstance, the company’s image or reputation. This letter was sent at the end of January 2011.


Letter to the airport


The reply arrived 2 months later! We were contacted by the department saying that they really liked our previous actions and they were interested in establishing a partnership, free of costs.


4th step – Design

We received a "yes" from the airport. Our idea was to create a planebookmark so that the bookmark is connected to the location through its design. We searched for some examples on the internet, but the costs were too high, so we decided to create our own planebookmark.

We started with some sketches:




After some drafts we remembered this airplane cartoon: Jimbo. We checked on YouTube and it’s really similar. It was an opportunity because YMPs also remember this cartoon. In our case a cartoon, connecting a development topic to a motif, well-known to the target group, can be very helpful towards increasing interest.


5th step - Message

As we were drawing, we were already developing a message. It could be related to MDG 7: Ensure environmental sustainability....or to MDG 8: Global partnership for development (making the connection with green tourism). After some first ideas, we thought that the best way to please the company and the YMPs was to draw all 8 MDGs. Why not go for a message related to eco-tourism? Because there are a lot of YMPs that travel only for business, and also because the companies provide several destinations. Therefore, to mention only one could be misunderstood by the agencies. Why not refer to the mobility impact of airplane travel? Because we can never be authorised to do it in an airport. So by making a more general message, and having the Facebook page available, we can refer to all these issues on Facebook, and give tips for changing behaviors.

All the MDGs would be seated at the airplane window with the message: "Flying for a Better World". A short message that could also be linked to our Facebook name, 'Connected for a better world'.


6th step – Graphic production


We contacted a graphic designer, and simply sent our drawings and asked for something very similar. We did it in this way because we thought that the price would be lower if the main idea was already there. But that, in fact, did not happen. And probably we would also interfere with the art of the designer. 

Immediately the graphic designer told us that if we wanted the shape of an airplane, it would increase the price, and the form to print and cut the bookmark would take at least one month. For us to maintain the quality and the creative style, it was important to have it cut in an airplane shape. Regarding the dimensions, the designer suggested 20cm x 14cm as the suitable dimension for this bookmark.They sent us the proof in 10 days.



Especially when working with a new target group, it proves to be an asset to have pretests for the material that is produced. Different target groups have different tastes in design, and also different languages that are used in the messages. These can be very different from our own tastes. So for the planebookmarks we first contacted two of the YMPs who we knew from previous contacts, such as the polls on the target group, and they liked the plane design. They loved the idea that it was cut in an airplane shape. One of the YMPs referred to the color as a connection element to previous actions. So we thought that we were heading in the right direction. Next step: send the proof to the airport company.


7th step - The airport company’s feedback

When creating a partnership it is important to involve the partner in the most important phases of the project. This is especially true when cooperating with partners that are not used to our cause of development education. The feedback on the proof was very positive, and then we suggested including the logo of the company. This is important because it reinforces the action. When YMPs see that this official and well-known company supports this action, they already know that there is a previous quality stamp. The company also showed us the type of exhibition support that they could provide. By seeing the double-faced exhibition support we immediately knew that we needed to create a poster.


8th step – Poster

In this step of the action we started to think about a poster. What should the message be on the poster? The message should be visible on the bookmark, in this case "Flying for a Better World", and also some word games that attract people’s support.

We also made the draft of the poster [B2 (70x50)]. In fact we just needed the plane, the message, the visibility rules of the project donors....and the word game. After some team suggestions, like "take me to the flight", "let me go with you", "hi gorgeous", we decided for  “Psst psst can I go with you? Take them with you and discover sustainable ways of living”.  We chose this because it was stronger in terms of communication, and also because it is linked to changes of behavior.


Document: Poster


At this time we sent the poster, as well as the company logo, to the designers in order to get all the materials ready to be printed.

In a few days we received the final proofs. Again, we shared the proofs with the company and they gave us the green light to print.

Knowing that all we could do was wait, we started to establish a communication plan.


9th step – Promotion

When starting a development action, we can use many different channels of information. Think about a teaser for Facebook, the press release, the data and information for Facebook. For the Facebook teaser, we agreed to use the Jimbo cartoons with the message “coming soon”. Then, we prepared a list of the internet resources and tips that we can use to adopt sustainable lifestyles.


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