If you don’t live in the New York area or Pennsylvania you probably don’t know the appliance and electronics chain P.C. Richard and Sons despite the fact that the company has been in business for over 103 years and they are the largest private family-owned chain in the country. Along with national department chains and big box stores coast to coast there are many local, loyal chains that continue to adapt and grow across the country based on customer loyalty and service. However if you have watched any Yankees home games on Turner during the playoffs, or caught a Jets game from Met Life Stadium, you probably know the P.C. Richard whistle.
The whistle is a part of their jingle…it follows the “It’s P.C. Richard…” in their commercials, but it is a 10 to 15 second very distinctive melody that you hear during NFL broadcasts every time the Jets pick up a first down, or in the MLB postseason, every time a Yankee strikes out a batter. The timing is perfect and it is very clear and distinctive from all the other ambient noise at a ballgame…it also comes through very clearly on the TV broadcast, despite what video is being shown at the time. It is a great example of distinctive audio that feeds into national exposure for a local brand without spending any national dollars. Now there is no logo, no read by announcers and no signage. You can also argue that there is little value for P.C. Richard since they are a regional brand and people outside the area may not even know what the whistle is. However it is unique enough for people to ask or even do a little google search, and appliances do have a space in the online world, so the whistle is not lost on a curious audience who has heard the catchy little sound time and time again. Also the Yankees, it can be argued are a team with national appeal and a loyal following well outside of New York, so maybe the brand benefits from others looking to identify with a New York brand when they are back in the market or talk to a friend/relative with a need to purchase.
Their NFL play with the jets may not resonate as clearly on TV as baseball has, but it is a great call to action in the stadium for the 70,000 strong taking in games at Met Life. It is a great call to action during the game and resonates with fans humming the distinctive jingle well after the game, especially one where the jets have played well and the whistle goes on and on for a while. It is not shrill, it is not obnoxious. It is very simple and very clear and distinctive enough so that anyone who has been in the area and heard commercials will know the brand right away.
A great audio call to action by a local company that permeates nationally, despite the lack of a national buy. The power of sound cuts through the visual, a well done, very creative brand connection by the local chain.