Although he appeared only as an animation in the past few years worth of ads, Elmer Lynn Hauldren is probably the most famous carpet pitchman of all time. On Wednesday (April 27), the company announced that Hauldren is dead at 89.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Hauldren began appearing in Empire ads in the 1970s. Prior to becoming a pitchman, he had been a copywriter at the agency with the Empire account. No doubt, it was all very “Mad Men.” Hauldren never looked back, though, appearing — or doing voice-over work — in every Empire ad since.
Anyone who has watched TV in the past few decades will fondly recognize the ear-worm that is Empire’s signature jingle: “800-588-2300, Empire! Today.”
A decorated World War II veteran, Hauldren also recorded several albums with his barbershop quartet, Chordiac Arrest.
And a more recent animated version: