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Can’t Come To The Phone Right Now

T-Swive? T-Pop? Taylo?

There are many names that the 28-year-old music icon goes by, but one that wasn’t at the top of my mind was “Hero”. That was until this week.

So for those that have been without iTunes, a TV, or even a Radio for the past decade here’s a little background to Taylor Swift.

The American Singer-Song writer, was the youngest artist ever signed by the Sony/ATV Music publishing house. Her debut album spent more weeks in the charts than any other album in the 2000s, and the album’s third single, “Our Song”, made her the youngest person to single-handedly write and perform a number-one song. In 2009, Swift was the youngest ever album of the year winner and was the first act to have three albums sell a million copies within one week. She then went on to become the first woman in history to win Album of the Year twice.

Impressive, right?

Well, not as impressive as what she’s involved with now.

T-Swifts Sixth Album, “Reputation” was released this year and the first single “Look What You Made Me Do” has already topped the charts (well that was unexpected. NOT!!!). But what was unexpected was the clever guys at the Iowa State Department Of Transport (DoT) using a reference to the catchy pop song in an attempt to connect with youth, who consistently show higher number of Distracted driving offences, such as using mobile phone whilst driving. The DoT highway road signs show the message:

A reference to the lyrics in the song, where the pop star sings:

“I’m sorry, the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now…Why? Oh, ’cause she’s dead.”

The new message coincides with the increased penalties in the state for distracted drivers, who in August this year only updated their laws, so that now police don’t need any other reason to stop you, other than seeing you on your phone. Previously, you had to have been committing other traffic violations too, such as dangerous driving.

The “Hawk-Eye State” is not new to this realm of using pop culture reference in the advertising campaigns, where they produce a new theme each Monday, inspired by different elements of pop culture, that are displayed on 70 of their road signs across the state. Government officials even welcome drivers to submit their own suggestions and ideas for traffic safety. And in the past have made references to the Pokémon Go craze:

“The Road Is No Place For A Pokémon Chase”

And in May, used the ever popular

“May the Fourth Be with You”

But its their newest campaign that seems to be creating a Storm in a T-Cup (do you like, what we did there?), with the update already being re-tweeted and liked by many of their 30,000+ followers.

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