How Attraction Marketing got me from muddy Fort Dix to Madison Avenue in 30 days.(Part 1)

Long before the Internet, your humble blogger used Attraction Marketing to land his “dream job” on Madison Avenue

With only 30 days to go before I mustered out of the Army at Fort Dix, NJ, I launched my first Attraction Marketing campaign.

My mission: Land a top advertising job in New York!

Ever since high school I dreamed of going to The Big Apple and working in the adverting business – on “Madison Avenue” as it was then known.

And in order to make my lifelong dream a reality, I knew this small town kid was going to have to be really different if he was going to get noticed in the “Big Leagues.”  Yeah, I was different, all right.

No “old boy network”, no recommendations

If I was ever  going to get hired as a “Mad Man”, I had to stand out from the crowd; had to be very different from the guys who went to the fancy schools, or who had the big-time connections.  Sure, I had gone to a perfectly good school.  But I had zero connections in the advertising business; nada references in New York.  Unless you count my best pal, the pride of Brooklyn, Staff Sargent Murtaugh and his limitless repertoire of barnyard impressions.

Don’t chase them. Make them chase you.

But I had a secret edge. I had studied the movies of Cary Grant, Ray Milland and other publishing and advertising heroes who had lived the sophisticated Manhattan penthouse life.  If they wanted a job on Madison Avenue (or anywhere else for that matter) they wouldn’t race up and down the street, desperately knocking on doors. Not a chance. They would figure out a way to make the Madison Avenue “biggies” race after them!

I was attracted to successful ideas and strategies

Plus, instead of wasting my time reading lots of books on  the minor poets of 16th Century Wales (or whatever those Ivy League folks study),  I gobbled up books by Claude Hopkins, David Ogilvy, Leo Burnett, Raymond Rubincam, George Gribbin, William Bernbach and my other advertising heroes.  These were immensely creative men who knew how to move people to action.

So, with only 30 days left before the Army was ready to release me with nothing but my AWOL bag and an Honorable Discharge, I sat down to create my very first Attraction Marketing campaign. It had to be simple and have but two goals:  (1) a USP  or Unique Selling Point -me – and (2) had to end with a big bang in 30 days.

So here’s what I did:

  • First, I went to the Post library and researched McGraw-Hill, then (as now) a leader in direct-mail and print advertising.
  • Next, I identified Harold McGraw, the person I thought one of the most promising in this vast organization to work for.
  • Last, I began a series of 30 personal, “tease” letters to Mr. McGraw, informing him of a very important event due to occur in his office one month away.

Each day I fired off a new letter – each teasing him with a different reason why he should meet with me – and hopefully building the suspense of what this coming event might hold in store for him.  Naturally, the countdown numbers would remind him of the approaching “BIG DAY”.

For example, here’s letter #1:

Dear Mr. McGraw:

Reason #1 why you should cancel all travel plans and be in your office on March 1st:

There is an advertising specialist who is uniquely qualified to reposition McGraw-Hill’s backlist for the coming Baby Boomer market.  Every day you don’t contact him you are leaving money on the table. Do you know his name?

Most sincerely,

Al Carlson, Specialist 5th Class, Ft. Dix, NJ

That was it.  Short and sweet.

Read about the conclusion of my wacky Attraction Marketing effort (apologizes to Ann Sieg) and how it almost turned into a disaster in Part 2 of next week’s blog.

If you want to discover more about today’s Attraction Marketing and how you can use its power build a profitable online business for yourself, check out my website.

About Al Carlson

For decades, Al Carlson, the Personal Branding coach, helped develop and nurture many billion-dollar corporate brands on Madison Avenue.
Now he’s created a powerful, profit-building Personal Branding Gold System for coaches, consultants and other solo professionals.
Al’s Personal Branding Gold System allows you to instantly communicate your unique value so you attract ideal clients. It taps into your unique gifts to create Personal Branding Gold, so you can outshine your competition and confidently position yourself as the best solution to their personal or professional challenges.


  1. Al,
    You tell a great story!
    I’m happy to see you are keeping Attraction Marketing alive and well today!

    Hey, I wonder how many people have never laid hands on a real typewriter! Sending off 30 letters was a lot different then than an Autoresponder today. But good copy always moves people to action.


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