How Brands Can Create Killer Social Video For CES

By Bree Brouwer · January 17, 2019

How Brands Can Create Killer Social Video For CES

Last week, Las Vegas was flooded with tech aficionados from around the world for CES 2019. The massive trade show, which highlights consumer electronics products and announcements from leading global brands, is a tentpole event for the tech community and therefore generates thousands of CES videos per year. But which of these made it to the top? And how can brands leverage this hype around CES when planning their video strategies for next year’s event?

When we looked at the top-performing videos from both CES 2018 and last week’s event, we found a few key factors which seemed to drive their success, both in terms of the number of views and number of engagements. Here’s what brands should keep in mind as they start preparing for next year:

Creators Are the Main Attraction in Pre-CES Videos

Several videos were uploaded to various social video platforms pre-CES, but surprisingly not by brands. In fact, while brands clearly have center stage each year, the handful of most-watched CES 2019 videos that were uploaded before the event included a solid representation of individual creators and independent channels.

Out of the top ten most-watched CES videos from 2019 as of January 7, five were from creators from countries like the United States, South Korea, and Brazil. Cars, smartphones, and computer parts were key themes discussed, including an AMD processor which some creators are claiming will cause a stir at this year’s event. Creator videos also boasted the highest average 3-day views (V3) at six out of the top 10 videos, as well as highest average 3-day engagement rates (ER3) at 10 out of 10 videos of CES videos through January 7. And this comes as a surprise, but only one of these videos was sponsored, which seems like a major opportunity for brands to embrace!

Clearly, creators can make a huge impact pre-CES; it’s only logical, then, for brands to consider partnering with them for pre-CES content. While lots of brands are doing this already, it doesn’t seem the auto industry is taking hold of the opportunity they have to work with creators on sponsored content. Three of the top ten most-watched clips for CES 2019, for example, are from Nissan and Kia, but they don’t involve creator partnerships. Auto brands, along with the other tech companies at CES, should definitely consider creating hype before next year’s CES by teaming with like-minded creators who bring with them engaged audiences and loyal followers within the auto brands’ target markets.

Product Videos Soar When Pre-Recorded

That’s right — despite CES being a big attraction for the launch and demonstrations of new tech products, the videos of products that performed best from both 2018 and 2019 were by and large pre-recorded, scripted clips. Consumer tech giant LG, for example, boasted six out of the top ten most-watched videos from last year’s event; out of these, five were pre-recorded product launch videos, which ultimately feel more like long-form ads or product guides than demos. The only LG video which wasn’t completely filmed in advance still combined shots from a live smart home demonstration on the ground at CES with pre-made creative, such as text layovers and clarifying animations.

Motor brand Kia also found success this year with a format suited to post-event viewing instead of live demos. An animated short about the car company’s emotive driving technology was uploaded in both Korean and English, and both landed in the top ten most-watched clips from CES 2019 to date. And last year, two of Kia’s videos were shot at CES but later edited into compilations of attendees’ reactions to the event and of attendees’ predictions about the future of car tech; these both landed in the top ten in terms of their average 3-day view counts (V3). In a similar vein, LG’s clips also boasted high V3 rates, supporting our theory that consumers don’t want to see recordings of live demonstrations but would rather throw their attention to more evergreen, pre-recorded formats.

Computer Parts Fans Provide Best Engagement Rates

While videos from various brands and media companies pulled in the most engagements from CES 2018, the brand that really stood out above all was NVIDIA, a tech company which produces computer graphics processors. The brand’s CES 2018 videos in particular dominated engagement rates — the top ten videos from that event with both the highest ER3s and the highest ER7s were all uploaded by NVIDIA or its GeForce YouTube channels! Every single one of these clips boasted incredible engagement rates of more than 10x, ten times higher than the average baseline rate on YouTube. As for 2019, NVIDIA boasts three of the top ten most-engaged clips to date.

So what style or format were these videos? Unlike the teaser-style and pre-recorded clips we noted above, most of NVDIA’s CES 2018 content was interviews, event coverage, and giveaways. This tells us that computer aficionados in particular don’t care so much for a quick glance at upcoming tech; instead, they want CES videos to help them understand the value and ins-and-outs of anticipated products, as well as earn a chance to win the products themselves. For computer parts brands looking to reach their fans every CES, it will be easier to get their attention and harness their high levels of engagement by creating informative, in-the-know content they can’t help but talk about and share with their friends.


In summary, brands attending CES 2020 and beyond can do quite a bit to ensure their online video strategies surrounding the event are successful. First, any brand interested in creating engagement with and reaching PC consumers needs to consider what they like best — namely, information-heavy videos. Second, they can create teaser-like, pre-recorded launch content instead of focusing on live streams of demonstrations and launches. Finally, don’t forget to leverage the power creators and influencers bring to the table, as they can help brands round out their CES social video strategies with a discerning yet fully excited eye.

Be ahead of the curve in
the age of video.