Wake Up And Drive

With these articles, I try to save the reveal of the website status until the very end, of course. But in this case, you already know the answer.

First, here’s the ad we’re focusing on today:

For some reason, I didn’t make note of the month, year, or magazine in which this ad appeared. For the vast majority of the clippings I pulled, I have that information.

It’s unfortunate that I don’t have that information because this ad is particularly important to me now.

(Update: I found it!)

This ad was part of Mitsubishi’s “Wake Up And Drive” campaign that, according to this article in Automotive News, launched in 1998 in part to promote the new Galant sedan. In theory, Mitsubishi thinks you should buy their sedan instead of a Honda Accord or Toyota Camry. They’re wrong, of course. The Accord is clearly the best of the three.

We’ve seen this type of ad elsewhere, where the ad itself doesn’t mention the brand name of the car you’re supposed to buy. I suppose the ad designers feel the mystery of an unbranded ad is enough to make people either call the phone number, or, for our purposes here, visit the website listed in tiny print in the bottom right-hand corner of the ad:

That site should look familiar to you. Sometime after Mitsubishi ended the Wake Up And Drive campaign around 2005, they let their domain registration lapse.

And I bought it! You’re on that site right now.

When starting this project, I wanted a domain name that was automotive related and relevant to old car websites. I thought of several different ideas but after a bit of brainstorming, I realized that one of the best things to do would be to buy up the domain of an ad campaign that had not been renewed.

I checked my list of domains and narrowed it down to about 10 that were automotive-related, but didn’t mention a specific car or brand (like FirstEverG6.com or 98Passport.com). I then checked to see which of these generic domains was still available.

Maybe it’s interesting, maybe not, but WakeUpAndDrive.com was the only one among the short list that was actually available. I won’t spoil what the others were, but they were all taken already.

So here we are. Thank you, Mitsubishi, for coming up with a clever ad campaign in the late 90s and early 2000s, and then dropping it entirely so that I could buy up the domain many years later and share these stories with the world.

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