So apparently AdWeek Magazine started publishing all of their print articles that pre-dated their online magazine. I dug up the first article (if you can call it an article) I ever wrote for AdWeek in September of 2000. At the time I was also a bus-boy at Joe’s Crab Shack in Redondo Beach. I always found irony that those were my two jobs at age 22.
Here’s the article:
REI Builds Web Business Around Its Offline Brand
By Preston J. Clark
REI.com, the online division of outdoor sporting goods retailer REI, is preparing to roll out its first print campaign from ad agency Copa cino. Billings were not disclosed.
Founded in 1938, REI has anchored its business on a co-op program—consumers can become lifetime members for a $15 fee—and is now aiming to cement that image online. With over 45,000 pages of products and information, including how-to pages and member bulletins, the Web site parallels the philosophy of REI’s bricks-and-mortar stores, said Devony Hastings, online public affairs manager for the company.
“We are still true to our philosophy” of taking the outdoor equipment business seriously, Hastings said, “and to our customers that are passionate about this lifestyle.”
Extending that brand equity to the online business, Seattle-based Copa cino will release the first of two print ads in November issues of national outdoor and sporting magazines. The inaugural ad pictures a “conquered” wedding cake, with waxed bride and groom figurines in full mountain-climbing gear standing atop it, embracing with ice axes in hand.
The text reads: “We understand. You’d rather be out there.”
In 2000, as an honors requirement for the Philosophy Department at Loyola Marymount University, I authored a Senior Thesis on the topic of William James and the American born philosophy of Pragmatism. I dug up my thesis this weekend and thought I’d post my introduction for fun. At the time, it was the most significant intellectual undertaking I’d ever embarked upon. It also embodied my general exhaustion with the study of philosophy as an abstract study of the human condition. The beauty of Pragmatism, as I discovered in 2000, is it believes deeply in the value of action. Here’s my excerpt:
Pragmatism acts as ac account of human thought, a theory on meaning and a theory of truth. The fundamental purpose of pragmatism is to shift us away from inquiry and move thought toward action. It is interested in the instrumental value of ideas and beliefs. It does away with “useless” inquiry and “interminable” argument. Such inquiry that exists solely in the abstract or that has no practical value if believed or not, is the antagonist of pragmatism. Inquiry then, has purpose only to the extent that it provides the means to a greater end. It assists us at arriving at some meaning. At the highest level, it frees us from the circular metaphysical debate that leaves us trapped in inquiry. With pragmatism, we settle on questions and ideas based upon pragmatic worth. The pragmatic scholar, Louis Menand, used the following analogy to explain pragmatism: “We wake up one morning and find ourselves in a new place, and then we a build a ladder to explain how we got there. The pragmatist is the person who asks whether this is a good place to be. The non pragmatist is the person who admires the ladder” (Menand, xxxiv).