People leaving work in Manhattan on Dec. 12 may want to take a moment to look up. What they will see will be a sight for sore eyes...ol' blue eyes himself.
In celebration of Frank Sinatra's 80th birthday that day, Capitol Records will project giant photo images of Mr. Sinatra, as well as his latest album cover and Capitol's ``Sinatra 80th'' logo, onto buildings along Fifth and Sixth avenues.
``A flatbed truck will project a full city block on the [sides of buildings]--three to four stories high,'' said Phil Sandhaus, Capitol VP-strategic marketing. The event will take place at dusk, when traffic volume is especially high.
High visibility seems to be the key to Capitol's multimillion-dollar ideas and plans surrounding Mr. Sinatra's birthday. An exclusive party is scheduled in New York for Nov. 30 to which only a few hundred of Mr. Sinatra's closest colleagues in the industry and media will be invited.
Capitol aims to promote Frank and his two new albums--``Sinatra 80th: Live, in Concert'' and ``All the Best,'' both to be released Nov. 14--within the industry in hopes that the interest will trickle down into the marketplace, Mr. Sandhaus said.
``We're relying on the events surrounding his birthday to heighten the awareness,'' he said.
Ideas in the making include NFL Sinatra day, with NFL teams singing ``Happy Birthday'' to Sinatra, and NASA astronauts offering birthday greetings and playing ``Fly Me to the Moon.''
The ABC TV special ``Sinatra: 80 Years My Way'' will be taped Nov. 19, for airing Dec. 14. ``It's a tribute to the icon,'' said George Schlatter, producer of the special. The proceeds of the ABC special go to AIDS Project Los Angeles and the Barbara Sinatra Children's Center, a facility for abused children.
Those attending the event will receive Sinatra gift bags bearing the ``Sinatra 80th'' logo from Capitol Records; CDs; ties from Frank Sinatra Legendary Neckwear; pasta and sauces from Frank Sinatra Gourmet Italian Foods; and Life's October issue featuring Mr. Sinatra.
ABC is working on selling the special. ``We have some advertisers on board, but are still in the process of selling the remaining units,'' said Janice Gretemeyer, ABC's VP-media relations, New York. Ms. Gretemeyer wouldn't comment on who has already signed or the cost of the advertising slots.
Further events connected with Mr. Sinatra's birthday are being planned as if they grew on trees, in this case, Christmas trees.
Marshall Field & Co. held its annual Great Tree lighting Nov. 4 in Chicago and honored Mr. Sinatra and his family. ``We are bringing together two great Chicago traditions--Marshall Field's and Frank Sinatra's association with Chicago,'' said Robert Quashie, manager of public relations for Field's.
An in-house ad campaign themed ``The voice. The store. The tradition,'' breaks this month as part of an overall holiday campaign. The spots feature Mr. Sinatra's rendition of ``The Christmas Song'' while a boy finds Field's Great Tree.
Field's is looking into sponsorship of the ABC special, Mr. Quashie said. An 8-hour radio tribute titled, ``Sinatra: Young at Heart--The Birthday Special,'' will air in four 2-hour segments on consecutive weekends beginning Thanksgiving weekend.
Included in the special will be music and exclusive recorded birthday greetings from entertainment personalities, as well as government and sports figures. The show will run on more than 400 U.S. radio stations and on military bases throughout the world. Orange Productions is syndicating the program.
Frank Sinatra's Gourmet Italian Foods, a line from TKI Foods, is providing dinner Sinatra-style for 30 to 40 fan clubs around the country at upcoming meetings in honor of their idol's birthday. Coupons and recipes will accompany the pasta.
Stonehenge released the Birthday Collection of Frank Sinatra's Legendary Neckwear, the second collection of ties based on Mr. Sinatra's artwork. ``The designs are more abstract and brighter,'' said Irwin Sternberg, president of Stonehenge.
The ties are being shipped to stores just in time for the holidays. ``We feel obviously the major benefit that we're going to gain is that his 80th birthday celebration is on Dec. 12 during the holiday season,'' Mr. Sandhaus said. ``It's a marketer's dream.''
Copyright November 1995 Crain Communications Inc.