NILAI, May 21, 2020 –Despite facing the COVID-19 pandemic and the restriction of Movement Control Order (MCO), a group of students from the Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM) has successfully produced the USIM 2020 ‘Raya Online’ advertisement for Hari Raya celebration. The advertisement which was created and produced in collaboration with the Strategic Communication Centre (StraComm) has been officially launched on USIMTV Youtube channel and USIM Facebook page on 15th May 2020 (Thursday).
It is well-known that USIM has been producing Hari Raya advertisement annually since 2013 with various themes and storylines that has gained the attention of many viewers. In a short period of five days until yesterday (Wednesday), ‘Raya Online’ has reached 30,000 views on USIMTV Youtube channel, as well as 22,000 views and 400 shares on USIM Facebook page.
According to Farhan Halim, a Bachelor of Communication degree student in Faculty of Leadership and Management USIM whom also the ‘Raya Online’ advertisement director, the whole storyline and original script that had been planned were changed at the last minute when Malaysian government has implemented MCO on 18th March 2020 to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Malaysia.
“The advertisement production crew consists of nine USIM students from various faculties. Most of us are stranded in the village and unable to return to campus to continue filming. As MCO continues to be extended and we faced the difficulties to continue recording in the field, we came up with a new storyline based on the current situation of university students, who have been stranded on campus and unlikely to return home for Hari Raya”, said Farhan in the interview.
The scriptwriter who had played the main character in the USIM ad, Syauqi Mardia Baharudin stated that they have included various stories that touched the citizen’s hearts during MCO period in the ad such as the story of Makcik Kiah, online purchases, TikTok, and delivery riders. It also highlights the benefits of the e-Commerce platform and latest gadgets that assist long-distance communications during MCO.
“We feel accomplished and proud of our work when we read positive responses and comments on social media. The pre-production, filming, and editing works took two months to complete. Interestingly, we managed to finish our filming work within 24 hours period. It was done indoors in a rented house and the Stracomm’s green screen studio.”
“I played the main character in ‘Raya Online’ ad as Aydeen Mardia, a USIM student from Kota Marudu, Sabah who was unable to return home due to MCO and stranded in the campus. Not wanting to be frustrated and overwhelmed, he wanted to celebrate Hari Raya with ‘long-distance help’ from his mother and younger sister.”
“However, something had happened to Ayden during the Hari Raya morning that shocked him. The message that we wanted to bring in this year’s ad is ‘No matter how near or far, family bonds need to be strengthened and Hari Raya continues to be celebrated together’,” said this Bachelor of Law and Shariah degree student.
On the other hand, as a sign of moral support to the frontliners and to pray for Malaysians to remain strong and united during this difficult COVID-19 period, the USIM Cultural Centre has released a special song entitled ‘We Pray For A Better World’.
The song which was sang by campus residents and alumni has also featured Malaysian popular singers such as Dato’ Nash, Dato’ Ramli Sarip, Syura, Ayu Damit, Farawahida, Sahri, Rosma, and Akma. The Secretary-General of the Ministry of Works, Dato’ Dr. Syed Omar Sharifuddin Syed Ikhsan has also made a special appearance in this song.
Fatin Nur Aqilah Isa, Stracommclique
Pusat Komunikasi Strategik (StraComm)
Aras 1, Canselori Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM)
71800 Nilai, Negeri Sembilan