Patrick Courrielche

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Patrick Courrielche
Alma materUniversity of California, Los Angeles
Occupationmedia entrepreneur
Known forPop-up retail, Citizen Journalism
Spouse(s)Adryana Cortez

Patrick Courrielche is an American media entrepreneur, writer, arts advocate, and political pundit, known for pioneering the pop-up retail trend.[1] He has written articles for and appeared on a variety of media outlets.[2][3][4][5] His writing has led to the White House issuing new federal guidelines, and the international music industry suing a website for copyright infringement.[6][7] He is the co-host and co-creator of iHeartRadio's storytelling podcast Red Pilled America.[8]


While working as an applied physicist for aerospace firm TRW Inc., in 1997 Courrielche started the now ubiquitous pop-up retail trend - or short-term sales spaces - with an event called the Ritual Expo. Initially a nightclub-meets-shopping experience, the event would eventually focus solely on creating temporary shopping experiences during the day and was initially called the "ultimate hipster mall." The event was known for attracting style brokers and cultural influencers in Los Angeles.[9][10][11][12] According to Courrielche, he started his pop-up retail stores with smaller, hard-to-find clothing manufacturers because large corporate brands did not immediately find value in the new concept. That all changed with the 2000 publication of The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. In his book, Gladwell emphasized the importance of connecting with "influencers" to sell a product or service. Companies began contacting Courrielche to create pop-up stores to reach these influencers, and he eventually sold the Ritual Expo to the creators of Lollapalooza and began working with Levi Strauss, AT&T, and Motorola to execute pop-up retail stores all across the US that featured their products alongside smaller fashion brands and artworks by Shepard Fairey and Dave Kinsey. Courrielche is now referred to as "the parent of pop up."[1][13]

In 1998, Courrielche started a lifestyle marketing & PR firm, Inform Ventures, with his future wife Adryana Cortez, and in 2003 began work with Toyota launching its new youth brand Scion – considered culturally significant for its use of the arts in attracting customers. He handled Scion's public relations and promotions during the launch, created and produced several branded-entertainment films, including a 2004 docudrama featuring Questlove from The Roots and a 2007 short-film featuring Biz Markie, and in 2005 helped create and launch Scion Audio/Visual - one of the first brand-funded record labels.[14][15][16] The launch was highlighted as "the most successful automotive brand launch in the history of the auto industry of North America," with several books and researchers publishing analysis on the launch for its novel approach.[17][18][19][20]

Along with his wife and business partner Adryana Cortez, Courrielche created, produced, and wrote a semi-scripted 2010 series of global warming debates between global warming proponents and skeptics, and moderated by comedians Sarah Silverman, Andy Samberg, Jamie Kennedy, Tracy Morgan, and singer Mark McGrath.[21][22][23]

In 2012, he created the first luxury automotive publicity campaign featuring a gay married couple, Simon Doonan and Jonathan Adler.[24][25]

On November 1, 2018 Courrielche and his partner, Adryana Cortez, launched a storytelling podcast for iHeartRadio called "Red Pilled America." [26][27]

On November 15, 2018, Lexus opened "Intersect by Lexus New York" and acknowledged Courrielche's marketing agency, Inform Ventures, as the lead creative contributor in the creation of INTERSECT BY LEXUS – NYC and in providing programming ideas for the 16,500 square foot space.[28]


In August 2009, Courrielche participated in and secretly recorded a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) conference call in which the NEA's communications director, Yosi Sergant encouraged the participants (members of the media and arts community) to support the Obama administration's goals by promoting the United We Serve campaign and create art specific to areas of health care, education and the environment.[6] The White House Office of Public Engagement also participated in the call.[6] Courrielche criticized the NEA in a subsequent Breitbart News piece (which was published in part by the Wall Street Journal), expressing the view that the NEA was being inappropriately used for political purposes.[29] Eleven Republican U.S. Senators criticized the conference call and questioned its legality.[30] Melanie Sloan of the ethics group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington said that the NEA's call was "terrible" and "inappropriate" although not a violation of federal law.[6] Following the affair, Sergant resigned his position and the White House issued formal guidance and training for staffers "to make sure such a call never happens again."[6][31][32] In a 2017 op-ed in the 'Wall Street Journal', Courrielche advocated for the elimination of the NEA, claiming that it had become politically tainted, failed to meet its charter, had allowed the degradation of arts education in public schools, and was unable to meet the arts modern challenges. He suggested replacing the agency with an arts counsel that would continue necessary programs, while advising the President on legislation that he says could address what he perceives as systemic problems prohibiting it from flourishing.[33]

Courrielche is active in the climate change movement.[34] He participated in the investigation of Climatic Research Unit email controversy ("Climategate") at the University of East Anglia,[35] and claimed that the affair "triggered the death of unconditional trust in the scientific peer-review process, and the maturing of a new movement of peer-to-peer review."[36][37]

In 2015, Courrielche wrote a long form story "St. Nicholas: The Birth Of A Social Weapon" on the origin of Santa Claus and introduced the concept of a "social weapon" - a packaged idea, message, or product that is used by an individual or group to advance their cause. Courrielche argued that New York City elites crafted Santa Claus from St. Nicholas, a widely known patron saint, to stabilize a city plagued by annual misbehavior every December. Santa Claus was then used as a "social weapon" by merchants, craftsman, city rulers, parents, newspapers, and others to benefit their endeavors.[38] The essay was added to the St. Nicholas Center's resource on the Origin of Santa Claus.[39]

On August 3, 2016, Courrielche published a long form story entitled "Stream Ripping: How Google/YouTube Is Slowly Killing the Music Industry" that looked at a growing trend of alleged "music piracy" enabled by stream ripping sites - websites that rip audio from streaming music sites like YouTube - that was slowly killing the business of selling songs. The story featured - what Courrielche called the most highly trafficked stream ripping website in the world - and followed its founder Philip Matesanz in his creation of the site as well as his early conflicts with YouTube and its parent, Google. By tracking the former and current success of USA for Africa and it's famed song We Are The World, the investigation showed how the music industry was being negatively affected by stream ripping sites like and highlighted how and Google profit from the practice of stream ripping through advertising. "After a short visit to, 'We Are The World' can be downloaded for free," wrote Courrielche. "USA for Africa receives nothing. The stream ripping site eventually agreed to shutdown after being sued by major record labels.[40]


  1. ^ a b Swystun, Jeff, (September 1, 2015) Business 2 Community. "Pop-Up Retail: Where Will It Go Next?"
  2. ^ Varney, Stuart, (August 27, 2009) Fox Business. "Where's YOUR Tax Money Going?"
  3. ^ Sanchez, Rick, (October 23, 2009) CNN. "Hollywood's New Bandwagon"
  4. ^ Courrielche, Patrick, (August 7, 2009) "The Artist Formerly Known as Dissident"
  5. ^ Courrielche, Patrick, (December 21, 2015) The Daily Caller. "St. Nicholas: The Birth Of A Social Weapon."
  6. ^ a b c d e Tapper, Jake, (September 22, 2009) "After 'Inappropriate' NEA Conference Call, White House Pushes New Guidelines" "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-07-11. Retrieved 2015-07-10.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Premiere Launches iHeart Original Podcast 'Red Pilled America.'". Retrieved 2018-12-05.
  9. ^ Romero, D. James, (April 24, 1997) Los Angeles Times. "Ritual"
  10. ^ Jones, Rose Apodaca, (August 28, 2000) WWD. "Cool Like That"
  11. ^ Baltin, Steve, (October, 2000) Chicago Tribune. "Ritual in the Making, Creative Fields Converge To Form Ultimate Hipster Mall In A Nightclub Atmosphere."
  12. ^ Moore, Booth, (July, 1999) LA Times. "Cutting-Edge Clothes and Music at Ritual Expos."
  13. ^ Video compilation of some of first pop-up retail stores.
  14. ^ "Toyota's Scion Starts Label". ‘’Billboard’’. March 26, 2005. Retrieved June 24, 2016.
  15. ^ Parpis, Eleftheria, (May 17, 2004) Adweek. "Now Playing."
  16. ^ Halliday, Jean, (February 28, 2007) Ad Age. "Scion Rolls Out Second Branded Film."
  17. ^ Walker, Rob (2010) "Buying In: The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are."
  18. ^ Rayport, Jeffrey, (November 20, 2008) Ad Age. "Scion's Marketing Story: As You've Never Heard it Before."
  19. ^ Halliday, Jean, (November 8, 2004) Automotive News. "Scion builds buzz with event marketing"
  20. ^ Halliday, Jean, (May 3, 2004) Automotive News. "Scions are co-stars at Tribeca film fest"
  21. ^ Johnson, Ted (July 31, 2010) Variety. "Lexus drives global warming debate."
  22. ^ Stenquist, Paul (July 7, 2010) New York Times. "Lexus Takes Its Comedy-Fueled Debate Series on the Road."
  23. ^ Mcintire-Strasburg, Jeff, (July 7, 2010) Sundance TV blog. "How to promote your new hybrid car: Host a global warming debate"
  24. ^ Greenberg, Karl (July 27, 2012) Mediapost. "For Debut, Lexus LS Poses With Celebrity Couples."
  25. ^ Read, Richard (July 31, 2012) GayWheels. "2013 Lexus LS Campaign Taps Power Couple Jonathan Adler & Simon Doonan."
  26. ^ "Our New Eye-Opening iHeartRadio Original Podcast, "Red Pilled America", Launches Today! | iHeartRadio Blog". Retrieved 2018-12-05.
  27. ^ "Premiere Networks Launches New iHeartRadio Original Podcast "Red Pilled America" with Patrick Courrielche and Adryana Cortez". Retrieved 2018-12-05.
  28. ^ CORPORATION, TOYOTA MOTOR. "INTERSECT BY LEXUS to Open Its Third Global Location in New York City | LEXUS". TOYOTA Global Newsroom. Retrieved 2018-12-05.
  29. ^ Patrick Courrielche, The National Endowment for the Art of Persuasion?, Wall Street Journal (August 25, 2009).
  30. ^ "10 more GOP senators demand answers from the NEA about teleconference". Los Angeles Times. September 25, 2009. Retrieved June 24, 2016.
  31. ^ Gregory Craig & Norman Eisen (September 22, 2009), The White House. "Memorandum For White House Staff and For Agency and Department Heads - Guidelines For Public Outreach Meetings"
  32. ^ Zeleny, Jeff (September 22, 2009) New York Times. "Agencies Instructed to Separate Politics From Grant Awards."
  33. ^ Courrielche, Patrick, (January 25, 2017) The Wall Street Journal. "Save the Arts by Ending the Endowment"
  34. ^ Fred Pearce, 'Climategate' was PR disaster that could bring healthy reform of peer review, Wall Street Journalist (February 9, 2010).
  35. ^ Fred Pearce, Search for hacker may lead police back to East Anglia's climate research unit, The Guardian (February 9, 2010).
  36. ^ Brian Trench, "Scientists' Blogs: Glimpses Behind the Scenes" in The Sciences' Media Connection –Public Communication and its Repercussions (eds. Simone Rödder, Martina Franzen & Peter Weingart), p. 278.
  37. ^ Fred Pearce, The Climate Files: The Battle for the Truth about Global Warming (Guardian Books, 2010).
  38. ^ Courrielche, Patrick (December 21, 2015) The Daily Caller. "St. Nicholas: The Birth of a Social Weapon"
  39. ^ St. Nicholas Center "St. Nicholas and the Origin of Santa Claus"
  40. ^ "Major YouTube audio-ripping site agrees to shut down after getting sued by labels". The Verge. Retrieved 2018-08-28.

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