File this one under interesting findings, and be careful how you handle it when filing it.

According to a recent survey from mobile location firm Retale, an incredible 60% of clicks on mobile banner ads are unintentional. As in mistakes. Mis-clicks. Accidents.

The survey showed that users most often encounter banner ads when clicking the news (65%), using social media (50%), playing games (47%), watching videos (45%) and listening to music (also 45%).

Consumers’ fat fingers getting in the way are, of course, nothing new to mobile advertisers. Between the small amount of real estate available to advertisers and the inevitable slippage of fingers on those same mobile screens – not to mention the ever-increasing distractions everywhere one turns – it’s simply bound to happen. A lot.

Even so, 60 percent sure seems high.

What happens next after that thumb slippage isn’t exactly encouraging to mobile advertisers, either. After accidentally clicking an ad, most respondents said they felt “annoyed” (68%), with a large percentage saying they felt “frustrated” (45%), and 22% saying they were “angry.”

Why not quell that anger (and ease that annoyance and frustration) by offering banner ads that are actually interesting, compelling, and creative?


We recently authored a blog post sharing five tips for writing better banner ad copy. You can view those tips here, and get more detailed advice on crafting compelling display ads.


So even if your audience didn’t mean to click on that banner ad…well, maybe they’ll find a reason to stick around and learn a bit more. And possibly even be moved and/or entertained in the process.