Advertising will die; the future is about branded content: Azazul Haque

Haque, the chief content officer at Media.Monks emphasised that advertising, by design, will have to evolve to resemble branded content more closely

Akansha Srivastava
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Azazul Haque

Delhi: The future of marketing lies in branded content, advertising will die, declared Azazul Haque, Chief Content Officer at Media.Monks.

Having recently resigned and currently serving his notice period at S4 Capital's creative and content agency, Haque strongly advocates for the dominance of branded content in the marketing landscape. 

In the era of 'always-on' social media posts and hoardings, Haque aims to prioritise creative content-led work. He expressed, "It's not that I don't want to make TVCs, but I would love to focus more on Reels, digital content, and scale it up."

Haque emphasised that advertising, by design, will have to evolve to resemble branded content more closely. He added, "Brands will need to steer clear of inserting a product window in between. Nobody wants to watch a product advertisement."

While many advocate for the integration of technology in advertisements, agencies predominantly creating tech-led work may find it challenging to scale their businesses. 

Explaining the rationale behind this perspective, Haque stated, "India is not as tech-savvy a country as Japan and Korea. We are enthusiasts of entertaining content. People adopt technology when it offers practical solutions, but not necessarily for pure entertainment purposes."

For instance, Haque added that online gaming will never achieve the same level of popularity as cricket in India.

Haque further shared with that in the future, mass media will transition into mass content. He emphasised that whether it's creating reels, producing snackable films, or developing content for new-age digital platforms, brands should aim to be increasingly entertaining.

According to Haque, branded content in short form is more effective than in long form. He stated, "In long-format content like web series, either the content will not be interesting or the brand will get lost. In shorter content, it’s easier to create an intent for purchase. Snackable content pieces like the ones available on Amazon miniTV are a great space for brands to be in."

In the future, brand advertisements will increasingly need to compete with entertainment. Therefore, advertising agencies must transition from traditional ads to content creation. "It's one of the reasons why content creators are thriving. They know how to entertain people and generate buzz," commented Haque.

When asked about content creators venturing into ad creation, Haque remarked that ads produced by content creators hardly have a shelf life. "While they may provide some initial spikes for a brand, their ads lack the power to establish brands. Only agencies can help brands create campaigns most sustainably," he noted.

To summarise, Haque emphasised that branded content should incorporate lessons from advertising, with a well-defined strategy in place.

S4 Capital Azazul Haque Media.Monks India