When I was a kid, the creepiest radio ad used to come on, often enough that I memorized it. The ad itself was just for shoes, but it had some great sound effects that sounded really spooky, at least to a little kid. I don’t know what ever happened to the Adler Shoe Company of New York City, but they should know, their ads live on.

 It went like this:

 [echoey sound of footsteps, like in an abandoned alley.]

Man’s deep voice: When you buy a pair of Adler shoes, you never walk alone.

 [Another set of echoey footsteps, trying to catch up to the first guy. I swear, the footsteps even speed up, like the first guy knows he’s being pursued by the ghost of old man Adler, come to steal his shoes.]

Man’s deep voice in a Shakespearean cadence: Old man Adler stands behind//every pair//of Adler shoes.

 Oh my God! It gave me nightmares! What a weird ad!

So check this out — I’m not the only one still haunted by Adler Shoes. The article says the later ads — the one I heard — were dull. No way. Nothing that puts that kind of shiver up your spine is dull. I also don’t remember the jingle. There was no jingle. There was only fear.

R.I.P. Old man Adler. R.I.P.


mitch · March 23, 2012 at 7:33 pm

The ad scared me, too. It’s a wonder it helped to sell shoes at all. Come to think of it, the company is out of business so maybe it didn’t.

Patrice Sarath · April 5, 2012 at 7:29 pm

I dunno — very old company so maybe its time had run out.

David OrrellEmolea · May 3, 2012 at 10:36 am

If you want to be taller, taller than she is, old man Adler is the man to see, his Adler Elavaters, confidentially, They will make you taller , taller than she is.

That singing jingle has been with me for seventy years. I had thought I was the only one tmremember it.

Patrice Sarath · May 3, 2012 at 5:00 pm

That is an awesome memory. I don’t remember that jingle at all — wonder if it was out of rotation when I came along.

Steve Mac · June 11, 2012 at 2:31 pm

I recall the tv commercial from the sixties. It wasn’t a jingle or a song, just a grim haunting statement by a deep voice stating slowly that “Old Man Adler Stands Behind Every Pair of Adler Shoes.” And I seem to recall footprints following a cartoon character as he walked. I don’t recall that they were elevator shoes, but I was less than 9 years old then.

Patrice Sarath · June 11, 2012 at 9:46 pm

I don’t remember seeing a TV commercial but then, we weren’t allowed to watch much TV. It was creepier hearing it on the radio. My imagination went overtime filling in the details.

I take it we all grew up in the New York City metro area. I can’t believe this was a national ad campaign.

What a strange thing to have stick after so many decades.

Patrice Sarath · June 11, 2012 at 9:52 pm

Hey, they aren’t out of business! Here it is: Adler’s Custom Shoes.


ADLER custom elevator shoes are completely painless, a lot cheaper than surgery and no convalescence is required. If you wish to gain and inch or even two, we can do this by including an insert into your bespoke, custom handmade shoes. The insert is made of a lightweight material, similar to that used in prosthetics and does not reduce in volume over time.

Ray · February 2, 2013 at 3:46 pm

This eerie blast from my past came into my head this morning. That stomp….stomp….stomp…. and then That Voice, just as you described it. It used to play on NYC radio (one or both of the all-news stations) in the 70s, usually when I was up at ass o’clock to deliver newspapers, and even in my teens I had nightmares about Old Man Adler coming after me.

Years later, a tv ad campaign upstate did a funnier twist on it. If you bought a car from Philanz Oldsmobile, there’d be Phil, standing behind the sale. “His cars run so good it’s a good thing he doesn’t stand in front of them!” (No, grammar wasn’t Phil’s strong suit- neither was selling cars, since he wound up in bankruptcy.)

Anyway- nice to have found you through this mutual fear. I’ll be looking for the bookings you’ve written:) I’m a writer with a dayjob, too, with a 2012 NaNo novel under the belt and going through betas now.

Patrice Sarath · February 2, 2013 at 3:51 pm

Hi Ray! Isn’t it funny, the effect that commercial had? All in all, there were some crazy commercials in the New York tri-state area back in the day.

Good luck with your writing!


Ray · February 15, 2013 at 2:17 pm

And I’ve now, just, finished Crow God’s Girl. Well done:)

….ummm, even though I did finally figure out it really WAS third of a series.

Funny thing that. Funny enough to blog about and sort-of review it:


Now off to the start of the Red and Gold brick road;)

Patrice Sarath · February 16, 2013 at 2:06 pm

Thank you for the review! How wonderful that you liked it even though you came in mid-series. I worked hard on that aspect, believe me, because I wanted people to be able to enjoy it on its own. Guess it worked! Thanks so much.

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