Bronze prize Ocean Park Halloween is celebrated by most as a one-night event, but one organisation is devoting a whole month to trick-or-treat entertainment. Ocean Park has designed the Halloween Bash 2003 as a month-long extravaganza. 'We designed the marketing campaign to be the talk of the town and to penetrate markets from all angles,' Ocean Park marketing director Vivian Lee says. This is being achieved, she says, through joint promotions, public relations exercises, advertising in family magazines, television advertising and programming, radio programmes, outdoor advertising on the MTR and the internet. Ms Lee says that October is traditionally a slow month for visitors, and Ocean Park therefore decided to draw up a programme that would appeal to a broad range of consumers. The theme park's Halloween event last year attracted 340,000 visitors, 13 per cent more than the previous year, making it the best October visitor attendance in the parks' 25-year history. 'We want people to rediscover the adventure of life and to remind them that there is always something new and exciting going on at Ocean Park,' Ms Lee says. Besides the standard attractions, such as the aquariums, dolphin shows and hi-tech rides, new concepts are required to boost Ocean Park revenues, she says. Ms Lee says the Halloween Bash 2002 campaign is aimed at teenagers and families with young children. 'We wanted to convey our message through channels that form part of the everyday life of our target audiences,' Ms Lee says. Ocean Park has teamed up with more than 400 retail outlets operated by 7-Eleven, Maxims, Watsons and Kodak Express. The 'infotainment' producers of the Roadshow are screening a commercial about the Halloween Bash on public transport. 'We had to stretch our limited advertising budget as far as possible, and joint promotions seemed the most innovative way to reach potential customers.' The campaign, which includes images of actors dressed as goblins, ghouls and ghosts leaping out of seats in Hong Kong cinemas, received the HKMA/TVB Bronze Award for Marketing Excellence. In the meantime, the campaign was given much media coverage after the Broadcasting Authority received more than 70 complaints from viewers saying the TV adverts were 'frightening'. Ms Lee says there was never any intention to cause distress, but added that the strong consumer response was proof that the marketing concept was attracting plenty of attention. Feedback from visitors at last year's Ocean Park Halloween events indicated that people enjoyed being scared, but preferably in a safe place, she says. Planning for the Halloween bash began early this year when members of Ocean Park's Events and Entertainment Department attended a Halloween convention in Chicago, and visited theme parks in the United States. A number of attractions, including a 1,000- square-foot 'Mirror Maze' and a two-part three-dimensional attraction titled 'Japanese Legends and Art', have been brought in from the US and will be prominent features at this year's event. Ms Lee says the campaign has helped to rejuvenate Ocean Park's image and will also help in the programme planning for Christmas, Easter and Lunar New Year. 'We wanted to share our experience, which is what prompted us to enter the awards,' Ms Lee said.