Do you remember the 2002 Hyundai Sonata? Unless you drive one, chances are you don’t give the midsize sedan much thought at all.
But back in 2002, the Sonata had just undergone a refresh, meant to take on the likes of the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry.
To build awareness, Hyundai ran ads like this one from February 2002:
I suppose there’s no movie titled The Dragon Strikes Back IV, though it sounds charmingly similar to a particularly popular movie franchise featuring a farmer kid who flies spaceships and blasts things.
Down among the text highlighting the Sonata’s nice features is a website reference:
How many people actually went to www.2002Sonata.com? I suppose we’ll never know.
As far as URLs go, it’s decently tidy and straight-forward. However, it’s extremely dated, of course. Heck, this URL was outdated less than a year after this ad appeared.
Therefore, it’s not really any surprise that today www.2002Sonata.com returns this:
That’s right. It’s a dead URL. We can no longer read about the 2002 Sonata at Hyundai’s old site.
In fact, the site is so dead, Hyundai hasn’t been renewing its ownership of the site. The site is currently abandoned and anyone with a few bucks and a desire to own an obscure piece of Hyundai history can snatch it up.
While we never like to see old URLs die (Hyundai could redirect it to their current Sonata lineup site since they still make the type), it’s also not surprising that the company wouldn’t put much effort into maintaining a seriously outdated domain.
Perhaps Hyundai realized this as 2002 went on because here’s a nearly identical ad from an October 2002 magazine:
You’ll notice that the ad above is almost exactly the same as the one from before. However, there is one key difference. The more recent ad from October 2002 suggests visiting the more generic www.HyundaiUSA.com. I wonder if, around September and October, Hyundai realized the 2003 model would be coming out so using the 2002 domain would suddenly seem lame.
I can’t say I blame them for forgetting about the 2002 Sonata.