The Advertising Game: Get the scoop from IAB Australia's Gai Le Roy

September 11, 2023
3 Minutes

In a fast-changing digital world, expert tips are gold.

We sat down with Gai Le Roy, who heads up the Australian chapter of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), to discuss her views on the digital advertising industry, gaming, and much more. 

Her unique perspective offers a macro view of both local and global markets, making this interview a must-read. 

Tell us about yourself. What is your role and company?

Gai Le Roy: I head up the Australian chapter of the IAB, a not-for-profit industry association. We work with our members to represent, improve, and connect the digital advertising industry. This means I am lucky enough to work with a wide range of companies, other industry bodies, regulatory agencies, and government bodies to gain a fantastic macro view of the local and global markets.

When you were a child, what game did you enjoy most? What game do you play right now?

Gai Le Roy: My first non-analogue gaming experience was on my much-loved VZ200 from Dick Smith Electronics in the early '80s. It had a very hard-to-use rubber keyboard, plugged into my small black-and-white TV, and you could run games off an old-school tape cassette.

I thought it was fabulous, as you could design your own games through some very simple coding and find tips for improving games in a Dick Smith magazine.

  • Childhood Game: VZ200
  • Current Game: Scrabble

Nowadays, Scrabble is my preferred game, and a warning to all: I am still very immature and an incredibly sore loser. My poor partner must deal with a couple of days of sulking if I get trounced in a game. I also do the SMH quick cross each night to try to keep my brain active!

If your brand were a skill in a game, what superpower would it offer to characters?

Gai Le Roy: I spend a great deal of time in my job helping to align lots of people with very different business models, priorities, and beliefs to come together on a range of initiatives to keep the industry moving forward. I like to think of myself as some sort of superpowered helicopter or drone with the ability to see the whole landscape with an affinity for spotting problems and opportunities before others. You could probably layer this with a strong sense of smell when it comes to trickery and BS—I have heard it all in my 30+ years in this industry.

Can you give us insight into your favorite game advertising campaign?

Gai Le Roy: I am not necessarily the right target audience for many game advertising campaigns, so many look very similar to me. From a business point of view, the metrics around some of the concerts within games (Fortnite, Minecraft, Roblox, etc.) are just mind-blowing. The gaming campaign that caught my attention because of the human angle and authenticity was the Robin Williams Zelda commercial. Watch it here. The commercial is a great example of campaign creative that resonates beyond superfans and with the ability to expand the customer base.

How do you see gaming complement or integrate with other media channels in marketing?

Gai Le Roy: Much has already been written about gaming being able to reach audiences that may be light consumers of other media and the strong engagement of gaming audiences. These are both absolutely correct, and gaming can be effectively used to extend reach and help an omni-channel campaign resonate.

"But for me, it can go beyond that; it’s the perfect opportunity to embrace humour, playfulness, storytelling, and drama—all things that are proven effective drivers in advertising. Which is something that is often missing from campaigns in recent years."

What do you think about the future opportunities of game advertising for your marketing strategy?

Gai Le Roy: As an industry body, we don't run huge, expensive campaigns, but I would like to ramp up the gamification that we do in all our activities. From improving learning outcomes in our training programs to increasing engagement at our events and within the IAB community. 

“We will, of course, continue to support the IAB Australia Game Advertising Working Group in promoting the benefits and opportunities related to game advertising to the rest of the industry.”

Key Takeaways

  • Gai Le Roy's unique perspective offers invaluable insights into the digital advertising industry.
  • Gaming is not just for entertainment; it has significant implications for advertising and marketing.
  • Authenticity and human connection still play a crucial role in effective advertising.

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