This Bearded Guy Has Unintentionally Become the Face of Tech Startups
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If you're dialed into the startup world -- particularly tech startups -- then you've almost certainly seen Adam Lisagor before. Name not ringing a bell? Take another look at the promotional videos for companies like Slack, Navdy, Square and Coin. The common element throughout them all? Adam Lisagor.
Lisagor is founder of Los Angeles-based commcercial production company Sandwich Video. He not only works behind the scenes -- he's oftentimes the man on camera, selling the startup products himself.
"I appear in the videos for products that I’d be excited to show my friends in person," Lisagor tells Entrepreneur. "If it’s a gadget I would buy, then I’d be excited to show it off to people, and it makes sense that I’d want to do that on video as well. There’s a cachet and a rush you get from sharing a piece of information, whether it’s news or gossip or a trick or something that the people around you didn’t know before you told them. So in this case, it’s a product, and I get to be the guy who tells you about it."
A graduate of New York University’s film school, Lisagor founded Sandwich video in 2010. As of last December, he had appeared in 25 of Sandwich Video's 160 commercials. That number is rising, of course. Here's a look at Sandwich's video for Coin, starring Lisagor:
Sandwich Video has produced videos for companies large and small, including Groupon, eBay, Jawbone, Airbnb, Lyft and Warby Parker.
By no means is Lisagor a trained actor, but there's something about him that appeals to startup founders as the pitchman for their products. From watching the videos, he does indeed seem to have an approachable, "everyman" sort of quality (I've never had a beer with the guy, so I wouldn't know for sure).
"He’s just a guy next door who is explaining some cool new thing to you,” Flipboard co-founder Marci McCue told Bloomberg in 2013.
"Founders tend not to be the best at doing this because they’re better at, you know, founding companies and running businesses," Lisagor says. "They’re not professional communicators. Actors can only pretend to be excited to a certain degree. But people respond when the excitement is authentic, and I tend to have a reputation for getting excited about cool things and authentically enthusiastic about telling you about them. ... It’s vitally important that I believe in the value of what I’m showing to the audience, because you just can’t fake that. At least I can’t -- I’m not that good an actor."
Lisagor is more than just a pretty, bearded face, though. He and his team at Sandwich help tech startups get a ton of attention. For instance, Sandwich's video for San Francisco-based heads up display maker Navdy has 1.4 million views on YouTube. Coin's video has more than 9.8 million views.
All the attention is good for his clients and good for Lisagor, too. "The result of me appearing in so many of my videos is that there’s an unintentional but positive brand association for my company’s works. It’s rare for a production company or marketing agency to have a recognizable person representing their brand ... when people see me in the videos I’m on-camera for, they know the work was done by Sandwich.
"If we’re doing our job right," he adds "people know our work even when I’m not on-camera, because of a certain style or mark of quality to the presentation. But having me on-screen sure doesn’t hurt."