Sorry, but Half of SE Asia Clicked Your Mobile Ad by Mistake

Some of you out there are logging a lot of hours to get your mobile ad campaigns tweaked and running just right before you release them out into the Southeast Asian marketplace. Once satisfied, you launch, you say a little prayer and you wait.

Then, your initial numbers come in and you’re happy to learn that people are actually clicking your ads and engaging with them. Fantastic!

Until you read the survey from Omnicom Media Group and Epinion that says, of the 77 percent of people in Southeast Asia who clicked on or read your mobile ad in the past month, 48 percent did so completely by mistake.



If you’re looking for a bright side –most surveyed said they don’t mind mobile ads in general; with 60 percent specifying they want ads that are not only entertaining, but ads that also offer some reward. 

The takeaway from this of course being that if people do accidentally click on your ad, at least 60 percent don’t mind accidentally seeing it –as long as your intent was successful in making it entertaining and they got something out of it.

So, there’s that.


“The high rate of accidental or unintended clicks show that brands still have a long way to go in understanding how to engage their audience on mobile based on a mutually beneficial relationship,” said Thue Quist Thomasen, Head of Group Sales and Marketing, Epinion.

clicking smart phone mistake

“Studies have shown that click rates are rarely the best way to measure the outcome of a campaign and we recommend companies, depending on their business model, to measure performance based on brand lift, purchase intention or conversion.”

Other findings

The survey, which was based on online responses from 2,631 smartphone users aged 15-54 in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, found that three quarters of respondents mostly use their phones to ease boredom.

And while many said they want brands that entertain them, most want content that offers them practical value. Some of the more popular were self-improvement tips (43 per cent), motivational or inspirational quotes (30 per cent) and recipes (27 per cent).

As far as channels, content in the Facebook newsfeed came in second to Email in ad effectiveness –further cementing the popular mantra of building your mailing list.

Of additional interest was the finding that 60 per cent of respondents use their smartphones while watching TV. This behaviour is more pronounced in Thailand (66 per cent) and among younger people aged 15 – 24 (63 per cent).

Of those using their smart device while watching TV they did so either for talking, sharing or searching for program-related info (47 per cent) or TV ad-related information (28 per cent).

This offers the opportunity for marketers to focus on creating more integrated campaigns that engage users on multiple platforms simultaneously.

“There is a huge opportunity for brands to enhance the utility and functionality of their campaigns by leveraging mobile advertising as consumers have gone beyond using the mobile phone as a means of entertainment and communication,” Thomasen said.

“Brands should move away from the fixation of content equates entertainment or information, and reconsider or redefine what does content mean to consumers from the perspective of utilisation.”

Bobby McGill

Bobby McGill

Bobby is the founder and publisher of Branding in Asia.

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