Publisher Spotlight: Entering the Metaverse with trooVRS

Originally published May 26, 2023 by Rakuten Advertising

We had the pleasure of sitting down with the Founder and CEO of trooVRS, Adrian Whant!

Adrian founded trooVRS to expand men’s health, wellness, education, and more into the Metaverse and wound up being our first affiliate metaverse-focused publisher! Dive into the interview where Adrian talks through the inspiration behind entering the metaverse, what trooVRS can offer to advertisers that no one else can, and how he sees the metaverse continuing to grow in the future.

So, tell us about trooVRS!

 trooVRS was founded in April 2022 to fill a void in the media marketplace by reimagining digital men’s editorial publishing for the metaverse. We’re proudly Rakuten’s first affiliate metaverse-centric publisher.

trooVRS is a cloud-based VR platform that offers exclusive content, product discovery, events, shopping, and community connections for male audiences. Built on Unreal Engine 5, we bridge Web2 and Web3 and provide the most photorealistic virtual experiences with no goggles needed. This immersive media platform provides practical knowledge, tools, and self-care content to positively impact the quality of life for diverse male audiences aged 21-55 across 10 verticals and 30 content categories and multimedia formats.

Male-targeted retailers can partner with trooVRS to foster brand loyalty and drive new customers. They can also test and launch new products, innovate loyalty programs, and provide customers exclusive access to products in 3D unavailable elsewhere.

Aside from being the first in the field, what sets you apart from publishers in your category?

trooVRS addresses a significant gap in men’s content by avoiding the traditional and stereotypical approach of focusing solely on Sports or Gaming. This allows brands to connect with male audiences whose interests are diverse, particularly Gen Z, encompassing Wellness, Lifestyle, Self-care, Education, Interest-based Communities, Money, Ecotourism, Travel, Tech, and Sustainability.

As the first immersive media men’s platform, trooVRS empowers users by granting them access to gated events, product discovery activations, and brand-centric and value-based information and offers (3D versions of products, QR Codes, Coupons, NFTs) while strolling in virtual environments. It caters to digital natives and web3 enthusiasts whose purchase decisions and interests align with their values and identity. This audience is well-educated, diverse, tech-savvy, and adept at social media, and seeks to control when and how they engage with content, brands, and communities.

As a purpose-driven platform, we strive to deliver value-driven information and experiences and provide our audience access to new products, services, and communities that can enhance their quality of life.

How do you help advertisers add value and drive incrementality?

​​trooVRS enables advertisers to elevate their affiliate marketing endeavors by testing cutting-edge technologies and initiatives shaping the future of consumer-brand engagement, specifically in virtual reality. The platform allows brands to gather product feedback, including user interaction with their 3D products, features and branded content, user color choices, design preferences, time spent in brand-focused environments, views and CTR, event attendance, unlocked NFTs, and purchase intent, among other in-world metrics.

What excites you about the affiliate marketing industry and where it’s headed? What new innovations will we see from you this year?  

The exciting aspect of affiliate marketing is its potential and flexibility to rapidly integrate with emerging technologies such as VR and AR. As brand marketers, we must creatively leverage performance marketing beyond link clicks. Quality time spent engaging with products, whether in the physical world or virtually, enables us to understand consumer preferences and product context and create exclusive, intimate experiences. This is why our focus is on immersive technologies.

Our roadmap involves expanding our virtual environments, the ability to host bigger audiences and content offerings, and incorporating gamification to enhance user and brand value. We aim to reward users for interacting with both content and products, leading to deeper engagement and brand loyalty.

What made Rakuten Advertising the right choice for trooVRS?  

Having been in the advertising and media industry for over two decades, I see Rakuten Advertising as a leader in affiliate marketing. Its strong network of national and international brands, and most importantly, its openness to embrace new technologies and support start-up businesses like trooVRS makes them the standout choice. We also have an incredible account and management team behind us who’s always willing to go the extra mile.