The year was 1969…the place was Manhattan.
While flower children were frolicking in nearby Central Park, an unusual event was taking place at the Commodore Hotel in midtown.
The event was called the “Seminar for Future Millionaires.” Yes, long before Joe Sugarman, Gary Halbert and Jay Abraham set foot on a seminar stage, mail order magnate, Joseph Cossman gave the first direct marketing seminar for the general public.
Even though this ad is nearly forty years old, it’s not very different from most seminar promotions today…except perhaps it’s better written and gets to the point in 1/10th the time.
Of course, Joe Cossman hired the best copywriter for the task, Gene Schwartz.
Today, a million doesn’t sound like much, especially with the US dollar slipping 16% this year. But at that time, it was worth close to $7 million in 2007 terms (and convertible to gold.)
So the claim and title of the seminar were a strong pull and backed up by world class copy.
This is your personal invitation to a “Seminar for Future Millionaires.” It is given by
‘s most successful “Start-from-Nothing-Millionaire”…E. Joseph Cossman, who started a spare-time business for himself with a kitchen table for his desk, a few hundred dollars and an idea. And who today, at the age of 49, has retired with over $1,000,000! America
And the most important fact of all…Joe Cossman made this one million dollars, almost completely by mail order, using other people’s effort and money and in less than a few years from the time he was working as a $65-a-week shipping clerk with “no future.”
Let me repeat this fact again: Just a few golden secrets — secrets you are going to learn at the Commodore Hotel in
on Saturday, April 26th netted this man over $1,000,000 Manhattan
Gene Schwartz’s bullets are terrific. I like this one:
- An introduction to one of the cleverest (and laziest) men in the United States. He works from 4:30 to 7:30 five nights a week — and earns over $12,000 a year. His gimmick: a stroll through a shopping center parking lot, a couple of part-time high school kids, and an irresistible message written on a 5-inch by 8-inch card.
Among the things I’d love to know about this event are:
- What was the turnout?
- Who were the attendees? (Was an adolescent Jay Abraham scratching his goatee in the third row?)
- If there were product sales…were they as shameless and vulgar as they are today?
I’m afraid we’ll never know.