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Adam Lisagor, Silicon Valley Startups' Favorite Video Director

Adam Lisagor is the face of the growing app-demo video business
Adam Lisagor
Adam LisagorPhotograph by Danny Zapalac for Bloomberg Businessweek

Before its video went live on YouTube, almost nobody had heard of Coin. In the one-minute, 45-second ad, a schlubby, bearded guy demonstrates how to use the credit card-size device to electronically store up to eight cards that can be used to pay at a checkout counter and a restaurant. In the video, the address for the device’s website appears on-screen after the narrator delivers this tag line: “All you need is one. One Coin for all your cards.” Posted on Nov. 14, the ad has close to 7 million views. Coin reached its first-month sales goal of $50,000 less than an hour after it went up for preorders online. Chief Executive Officer Kanishk Parashar says that’s due in large part to the ad, which helped attract greater interest from consumers and contract manufacturers. “We became the No. 1 video on YouTube,” he says. “That just speaks for itself.”

Adam Lisagor made the ad. (He’s also the guy at the checkout counter in the Coin video.) A former journeyman film editor and the founder of Sandwich Video, he has emerged as the director of choice among Silicon Valley startups looking to gain visibility. Lisagor has refashioned product demos, an old idea in the world of advertising, into an effective marketing vehicle. In 2010, when he started making the videos, there were only a few filmmakers specializing in the app-demo business. Today there are more than 130. “Everybody thought if you just put your app on the App Store, you’re going to strike it rich,” Lisagor says. “That turned out not to be the case.”