So… I did a thing. Maybe two.

The very keen readers out there will notice a small change to this site earlier this week.

That’s right. The logo at the top of the site now has the ® character in it:

We’re now official.

I started this site back in June of 2020. In July of 2020, I applied for a service mark to use the phrase Wake Up And Drive with the U.S. Patent And Trademark office.

After nearly seven months of approvals and bureaucracy and waiting, it’s now official, with a certificate and everything:

I’ve blurred out some of the personally identifiable information, but if you really want to know the details, ask me in the comments below. 🙂

The process really was rather painless, actually. I filled out an online form, paid a fee, and after a few months, it’s official.

This is important to me (and this site) because Mitsubishi Motors previously owned the trademark for Wake Up And Drive many years ago. It was part of an advertising campaign that started in 1998 and ran for about 10 years.

When Mitsubishi dropped the campaign, they let their registration of expire. Now that’s the domain for this site.

But they also didn’t renew their trademark over the phrase Wake Up And Drive. And now the phrase is protected, too.

Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t do this out of spite for Mitsubishi. I registered the trademark to protect this site. The phrase and domain are pertinent to what I’m doing here. So it just makes sense to cover my bases.

To celebrate the official certification of the service mark, I renewed my effort to find the ad that inspired this domain in the first place.

You may recall, was printed in an obscure Mitsubishi ad many years ago. It’s one of the many ads I clipped out of magazines as part of this project.

Somewhere around 2014 or 2015 or 2016, I scanned the ad so I have a digital copy:

However, I didn’t realize at the time (all those years ago) that the ad would become so relevant to this project and I lost track of my actual printed version.

Now, I should point out that I still have the original magazine clippings of all the ads featured on this site. I feel it’s important for the sake of completeness to keep these records.

A few, however, have slipped through the cracks. And sadly, the ad was one of them.

Oh, sure, I have plenty of Mitsubishi ads that show the “Wake Up And Drive” tagline. But the ad above is the only one I’ve seen that actually has the site mentioned.

And I lost it!

This fact has bothered me since I started this site in mid-2020.

Now, I’m usually pretty careful with this kind of thing (and, as I mentioned before, I have printed copies of pretty much every other ad in this project) so I figured there had to be a logical explanation.

I started this whole project because I like Honda. So I went through my old car magazines and clipped out any Honda articles and ads before recycling the rest of the magazines (and I had hundreds!).

As I was pulling out clippings, I noticed ads for other brands (and Honda, too – they don’t get immunity here) that featured unusual domains, subdomains and site sections. Those websites are now the ones we focus on through this project.

But I still have all those Honda-related clippings.

So I hoped (assumed?) the ad would be somewhere on the back side of one of those Honda clippings.

And this week, I found it.

It’s on page 142 of Road & Track’s August 1998 issue.

The other side of this (pages 140 and 141) is a two-page ad for the Acura Integra. That explains why this was among my Honda clippings. Assuming this is the actual copy of the ad that I scanned, I must have figured something like, “meh, it’s an old Mitsubishi ad — I’ll scan it for the domain but it’s more valuable to me as a Honda clipping.”

Boy, was I wrong.

Despite my original dismissive attitude toward the ad, it will now hold a special place in my office, next to the official service mark certification.

Again, I don’t do this out of ill intent toward Mitsubishi. I do this because I firmly believe that companies should take ownership of their online marketing and evolve it over the years, instead of just assuming that old campaigns can simply be lost to time.

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