The Genius Of GQ’s “Ten Essentials” Videos

We break down how GQ's popular videos (featuring athletes like Klay Thompson and Megan Rapinoe) show the value of authentic influencer marketing.

If you’re a fan of celebrity-related content (and really who isn’t), you’ve likely seen a YouTube video with a famous person sitting in front of a light blue background show up in your algorithm before. These videos are the marquee program of GQ’s online presence — the ten essential videos.

The premise is simple. Celebrities, male and female, share ten items that they can’t live without, they talk about each of them and why they need them everywhere they go. These low-budget and under-ten-minute videos rack up millions of views as celebrities share everything from their laptop to their favorite sunglasses to the lotion they apply every morning.

Many of the biggest names in sports have sat down to share their ten essential items with GQ. Megan Rapinoe, Odell Beckham Jr., DeAndre Hopkins, P.K. Subban, Ninja, Christian Yelich, PJ Tucker, Jimmy Butler, JJ Redick, Kevin Love, and more have all walked viewers through their most near and dear possessions.

Some of the items they show off are likely sponsors, brands that these athletes are working with, but the line is blurry because they’re so passionate about each item. This is a marketing gold mine — the authentic manner in which athletes share these products leads to amazing endorsements. These athletes are so committed to the product that they’re bringing it along for their GQ Ten Essentials video, not just promoting it in a commercial.

Even if you watch these videos knowing that athletes might have partnerships with some of these brands, it doesn’t decrease the entertainment value. Seeing that your favorite pro basketball player likes a certain type of sunglasses makes you think, “Hm, maybe I should get a pair of those too.” The youthful feeling to want to be like your athlete idols still lives in so many of us, no matter how old we get. If a product is good enough that a world-class athlete considers it essential, it’s definitely good enough for an everyday consumer.

Authenticity is one of the keys to a successful influencer marketing campaign, and GQ’s ten essential videos are exactly that. There isn’t a set list of items to bring in or any requirements and it’s completely up to the individual. That personalization allows for athletes to enjoy the process more, bring more personality to the video, and be more convincing about their love of the items.

Working in the athlete and influencer marketing space, we at MarketPryce always want to make sure athletes and brands have the right fit. Watching GQ’s ten essential videos reinforces the idea that the best marketing deals (the ones that have the biggest impact on consumers) happen when both the brand and the athlete are passionate about each other.

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