Consumer Control


Here at Carat we look at how personal control is coming to brand communications.

Go to any online marketing conference and one of the ‘questions from the floor’ will invariably centre on ad blockers. What do they mean? How will the industry respond? Are we all doomed?

But without advertising revenue there’s little financial point in creating a blog or investing in quality content, so rest assured there will be no death to online advertising if we want online influencers to create. There will undoubtedly be increased investment in branded content as advertisers seek to promote themselves without definitively advertising their brand.  

However, it’s my belief that there’ll be another shift to combat people actively blocking advertising – introducing consumer control. Atri have looked to create an alternative to a) ad blocking, which stops online creators earning money for their input to ‘the web’, and b) advertising which, when done badly, can irritate. At Atri you can sign up for ‘uninterrupted’ online browsing by paying for it – the money you give towards the cause gets split between the content creators the extension shows you to have engaged with the most.

  Consumer Controlling 1

One of my favourite campaigns last year came from Post-IT in Russia;

 Consumer Controlling 2

Post-It used retargeting to aid consumers, rather than irk. Retargeting allows you to ‘follow’ a consumer as they browse online. It’s often the subject of attack, as consumers say they were stalked by a product or brand. Bad retargeting gives the tactic a bad name – advertisers must learn to frequency cap and understand when their retargeting campaign is over-stepping the mark. Post-it went one further than this and allowed consumers to personalise their advertising themselves. They invited viewers to click-through to jot down their to-do lists. They then served those reminders to individual customers as they went about their business – making retargeting not only tolerable, but welcome.

Tesco allow consumers more online control when doing their weekly shop. They’ve utilised ‘If This Then That’ (IFTTT) function on their online shopping portal to allow consumers to set ‘recipes’ for their shopping basket. Once you've connected your Tesco account to IFTTT, you can set it to monitor when the price of a product changes or drops below a pre-set price and add it to your basket for later checkout. Or perhaps you know you’ll want a case of beer when the weather gets above a certain temperature;

 Consumer Controlling 3

Here at Carat we’re exploring how we can use consumer choice to ensure that advertising not only cuts through the noise – but adds value to consumers and brands alike. For more information, contact


^Back to Top