Bumper Sticker Bingo!

From Take Heart | Volume 2, Issue 11

Bingo! C’mon, you know the game. As the letters and numbers are called, you mark them on your grid until you have five in a row horizontally, vertically or even diagonally.

Here’s a variation you can enjoy with your leadership team.

Instead of B-I-N-G-O letters and numbers, we’re going to use common things you’ve seen on bumpers!

Get your 5 x 5 grid ready. To use ours, click here.  Better yet, make your own grid. Across the top, give each of the five columns a heading: 1) fish symbol, 2) family stickers (stick figures with mom, dad, assorted kids, etc.), 3) Christian school,  4) church or denomination, and 5) minivan or SUV. (Okay, minivan is not a sticker but it is attached to the bumper and simply screams middle class, family values.)

Now down the side, head the rows with five common words found on life-minded bumper stickers. Start with “life or pro-life,” then “baby,” next “heart” (either as a word or a symbol), “unborn,” and finish with “vote.” (Note on vote: an especially “right-wing,” pro-life political candidate could qualify here. Never mind if that same candidate was on the ballot three elections ago.) 

There’s one last detail. In the center, just like the “free” spot in regular BINGO marked with a star, you get a free spot corresponding with “minivan” and “heart.” Include that and you only need four more to win the game!

Pass the grid around to all the players. This is best done when you have most of your staff and/or board on hand. Head off to the parking lot of your center with grids and markers. Work as teams for more excitement. Look around. What do you see?

If you‘re like my center you are looking at a flock of minivans and SUVs. No, there’s nothing inherently wrong with minivans and SUV’s, but they are not the type of vehicle our target client audience is buying. The odds are high that there’s a car seat inside. (Minivans or SUV’s that were new on the lot in the past 48 months give you a bonus mark!)

When you find a fish symbol and “I vote pro-life,” mark your card twice! You’ll probably see family stickers and “Baby on Board” for another mark. Look a little more. The first one to find five in a row shouts “B-I-N-G-O”!

Do your clients walk through or by these cars to get to the door of your center? If so, what are these bumper stickers telling them in advance? Are they getting a picture of who you are and what your center is about that will slant their answers during intake? Will they be more inclined to tell you what they think you want to hear or what is really on their heart? Or will such positions so obviously opposite their own thoughts even turn them away?

Bumper Sticker Bingo, real or imagined, shows that interaction with clients begins even in the parking lot of our pregnancy help center.  Not only is it important for your reception area and counseling rooms to be warm and inviting to even the most abortion-minded, so should the exterior of your center.

One way to help staff cooperate with image building is to print up your own center’s bumper sticker and make them available to staff and supporters. You can then encourage staff to use your bumper sticker instead of the ones that could turn off potential clients.