If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

EA spent $2.75m on Facebook ads for Battlefield 3

Publisher attributes $12.1m worth of sales to campaign, a return of 440%

Facebook's first public investor call since its IPO has revealed some interesting facts about the effectiveness of its advertising portfolio, including the fact that EA invested heavily in a Battlefield 3 campaign on the network, seeing a 440 per cent ROI.

Speaking during the call, Facebook COO Sheryl K. Sandberg highlighted the BF3 campaign as an example of just how effective a highly targeted campaign could prove to be.

"We're making great progress measuring our ability to help marketers generate sales," said Sandberg.

"Independent analysis of more than 60 campaigns, 45 of which were completed in the first half of this year, show that 70 per cent of those campaigns delivered a return on ad spend of 3x or better. And 49 per cent of those campaigns delivered a return of 5x or better.

"Electronic Arts recently spent $2.75 million promoting Battlefield 3 on Facebook. They attributed $12.1 million of their sales to these ads, translating to a 4.4x return on their Facebook marketing spend."

EA's methods for extrapolating that attribution weren't made clear, but Sandberg was also keen to point out that it's not just companies with the publisher's hefty marketing budget which can see returns on advertising on the network.

"Wooga, an international games developer, used mobile News Feed to drive installs of its Diamond Dash game," Sandberg continued. "They increased downloads by 26% in the U.S., 29% in Germany and 37% in France, all at attractive costs per app installed."

Games played a relatively low-key part in the call, with Zuckerberg himself urging listeners to think beyond gaming in terms of the potential for Facebook apps, whilst also pointing out that game developers surrendered a higher percentage of income to Facebook than other apps.

"So in gaming, for example, we think that we're helping to provide a lot of the value, so we end up getting a relatively high percentage of the revenue that comes into those companies," explained the CEO in response to a caller's question.

"Whereas in something like music or some of the media companies that are now getting built using Open Graph, I think we aren't providing quite as much of the percentage of the value as with games, so the overall amount of the revenue that comes to Facebook through, whether whatever the breakdown of ads and payments is, I think, will be somewhat less.

"But a lot of people will do that stuff, too. So I think the real way to think about this is that over time, more and more nuanced experiences will become social. So gaming is such a basic thing that people want to do with their friends, so even with a relatively basic platform, people could build that ecosystem out. Some of the media stuff required more nuance. I think commerce will require a little more and so on."

Facebook was able to beat estimates in its financial report, showing healthy growth in its revenues, particularly from advertising.