Unpaved Jeep

Look, I don’t really have anything against Jeep vehicles. In my experience, they don’t seem to be very well built, but that’s just me. I know there are lots of loyal Jeep fans out there and if they love their cars, who am I to say they’re wrong.

But today’s journey into the Internet shows us one of the reasons why I’m not a huge fan of Jeep (or Chrysler in general).

We’ll start by taking a look at today’s featured ad, which comes to us from an April 1997 magazine:

Jeep ad from April 1997

Yes, it’s cute how they wrote “Four Wheeler of the Year” in the mud splattered all over the then-new Jeep Cherokee.

Amid all the text at the bottom of the ad is this reference to JeepUnpaved.com:

I’m not entirely certain what the thinking was behind using a longer URL like JeepUnpaved.com instead of simply Jeep.com (which whois.com shows has belonged to Chrysler since 1995, well before this ad was published).

Maybe they thought JeepUnpaved.com sounded more rugged and adventurous? I suppose it’s as good a theory as any.

Like many Chrysler products, this one hasn’t aged too well. Checking JeepUnpaved.com gives us this:

If it looks like there’s a bunch of whitespace there, that’s because there is.

Interestingly, JeepUnpaved.com loads an actual page. It’s not a 404 error or a dead domain. It’s an actual live site, but it has absolutely no content in the body of the HTML code.

Perhaps even more striking, another look over at whois.com shows that Fiat-Chrysler still owns JeepUnpaved.com.

I get that Jeep may have long ago abandoned the “Unpaved” branding, but come on! They’re paying for the top-level domain every year. The least they could do is redirect it to Jeep.com.

No, you’re right. They least they could do is absolutely nothing. Which is precisely what’s happening here.

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