Mississippi Department of Transportation uses humor and pop culture references for memorable message boards

MDOT 12 Days of Christmas

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) -Christmas carols, movies and traditions...they’re all fair game as Mississippi Department of Transportation brainstorms the 12 Days of Christmas message boards.

This Christmas Vacation reference from 2018 is one of MDOT’s first message boards to take off on social media.

It’s the only one making a return appearance for this year’s holiday lineup. The team has realized they need to brainstorm beyond the usual buckle up, don’t text type phrases.

“What you need to do is kind of add something different to it," explained MDOT Digital Media Manager. "Through pop culture and a little fun, we’re able to deliver those key safety messages. So, that’s always the point. You can’t always just give someone a straight message like that.”

Folks are taking notice.

“I love them," said driver Stacie Johnson. "They bring out the season. It makes me laugh. It’s so exciting. Like I was saying earlier, you’re driving so it’s kind of hard to see. It gives you a chuckle because when you’re driving you get stressed. So, it kind of breaks up that monotony and it makes you think. Oh, don’t drink and drive guys. This is already a hard thing to do as it is. I like 'em.”

“I think they’re funny," noted Kyle Culbertson. "I mean I’m not planning on using my phone at all but when I drive past and I see them, I get a little chuckle.”

Social media adds a shareability factor.

“That gives it an extra life that it takes on outside of just being on the highways," said MDOT Deputy Director of Public Affairs. "So, our message will reach tons more people.”

That’s where the social team comes in to offer up a better way to share the messages with animations and shareable graphic versions.

You’ll have to wait to see the remaining seven messages but we did get this teaser of what’s to come.

“We also want to remind everyone that Die Hard is a Christmas movie," added Smith. "So, just be ready for that one. That’s a little preview for you. Spoiler alert.”

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