Creator marketing & the Metaverse27% of marketers we surveyed said, "understanding and leveraging new formats like the metaverse is a top challenge they're focused on solving this year."While still an abstract concept for most consumers and an extremely nascent opportunity for brands and creators, advancements in the space are speeding up. More brands are dipping their toes in these virtual waters. With 37% of influencers interested in opportunities in the metaverse, and 36% of Gen Z students envisioning interacting with brands there, it's time to understand this new sphere of influence. Read on for some impressive innovations seen from early adopters.Degree advocates for inclusion in first-ever 'Metathon'TL;DR: Degree hosted an inclusive 'Metathon' which covered 26.2 virtual miles of Vegas City Sports Quarter, Decentraland's largest district. Participants were able to create avatars with wearables such as prostheses, running blades, and wheelchairs, increasing the representation of people with disabilities. The course features included accessible architecture, such as ramps for wheelchair users. Takeaway: If you're going to explore the metaverse, make it meaningful. In a recent study, 60% of people expressed a lack of inclusivity in digital spheres, leading to online marginalization of specific communities. Considering Gen Z's appetite for brands that stand for something, Unilever's move to show up to the metaverse with a real purpose and foster inclusion online is a strong strategy. Degree brought meaning to the virtual realm following its introduction of Degree Inclusive in 2021—an award-winning deodorant designed for ease of use among those with upper limb disabilities. Read on: The DrumFashion brands are using Roblox's "obbys" to get in front of gamersTL;DR: By establishing a presence within an "obby" (an obstacle course in Roblox), brands like Rebecca Minkoff have been able to tap into games that receive millions of visits on the platform. According to Roblox, Minkoff's High Heel Obby, created in December 2021, has seen almost 40 million visits.Takeaway: The move by retailers to explore Roblox as a bridge to the metaverse is smart—considering that as of Q1 2022, 51M users gamed on the platform daily, and 66% of in-app purchases were made by 18-24-year-olds (Statista). Other brands like Nike and Forever21 have also launched obby experiences in Roblox. Retailers looking to explore the intersection of NFTs and the metaverse will do well to tap into Roblox as it expands both in users and e-commerce power.Read On: GlossyWho are metaverse creators? They're digital artists, NFT builders, and blockchain experts. Here are a few accounts to follow:Krista Kim: Contemporary artist and founder of the Techism movement whose work explores the concept of digital consciousness. Her signature language of shifting gradients using digital software hypnotizes viewers into a trance of tranquility, while her video works provide meditative experiences of color and light.RTFK: Creator-led organization that uses the latest technology across game engines, NFT, blockchain authentication, and augmented reality, combined with manufacturing expertise to create one-of-a-kind sneakers and digital artifacts. They were acquired by Nike in 2021.3LAU: Recently named 93rd most Notable Person in blockchain by CoinTelegraph, he's broken several records with his solo NFT drops and gained popularity as a part of SSX3LAU, his collaborative project with long-time creative director Slimesunday.Chuck Anderson: Anderson’s work has become highly sought-after by a wide spectrum of brands and collectors (ESPN, Apple, Nike, Microsoft, New York Times, Vans, Target, Burton). The emergence of NFTs has allowed Anderson to delve into the exploration of his own personal work, with a boundless desire to explore what is possible within the digital sphere.