Mike Sharman

Mike Sharman

Mike Sharman founded Retroviral, which has made more brands ‘go viral, globally’ than any other agency in Africa. He has developed campaigns that have been classified as ‘truly viral’ – Nando’s – Last Dictator Standing, RYOBI, RocoMamas, Douwe Egberts, and Russell Hobbs, and My Kreepy Teacher for Kreepy Krauly.

Mike was named one of the Mail & Guardian’s top 200 young (under 35) South Africans in 2013 and he is the co-founder of influencer marketing platform Webfluential.com (40,000 users) as well as retroactive.digital – a disruptive sports storytelling agency.

He excels at bootstrapping startups and steering them to profitability to unlock maximum shareholder value:

Retroviral (10 years) , Webfluential.com (7 years), Retroactive (2 years), MatchKit.co (8 months)

He once had to Zoom in from a toilet to present to an audience of 300 when all flights at OR Tambo were grounded due to an apocalyptic storm

TITLE:  The Age of the ‘Unfluencer’

Long Description
Influencer marketing has taken the world by storm. Think about the Kardashians and how anything they post to Instagram results in record sales drives for that particular product or service. This is a tale of the antithesis of this trend; welcome to unfluencer marketing. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format and has received more than 4,500 views since it was posted to YouTube last month.

  • Length: 45mins – 60mins (flexible)


B R A N D A L I S M, is the follow up to his bestselling, award-winning debut, as well as his brand new keynote. Mike Sharman delves into the (start)ups and downs associated with brand building and the need for business to dismantle, and vandalise its perceived, public-facing, persona.

The future of PR and influence, when – or if – to launch a new business as opposed to a division, raising capital, the impact of presentations, startup school fees, and emphasis on a manifesto rather than purpose, are the aspects Mike obsesses over in this insightful presentation, wrapped in his trademark, comedic delivery.

The co-founder of the creative, digital agency that has made more brands ‘go viral’, globally, than any other agency in Africa, uses his unique storytelling proposition to provide insight into 10 years of building a business from scratch, while elevating his clients to emotional, (commercial) cult status.

  • Length: 45mins – 60mins

Keynote 3 option

From concept to viral in 96 hours

The story of My Kreepy Teacher

Topics Covered
  • The Age of the ‘Unfluencer’
  • B R A N D A L I S M
  • The story of My Kreepy Teacher

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