Retroviral was crowned Africa’s PR Agency of the year at last night’s 2023 EMEA Sabre Awards, held in Frankfurt, Germany. The agency also won SABRE’s for its Checkers Sixty60’s Sixty60 Swindler campaign in the category Industry Sectors, Consumer Goods, Retailers; and for Lil-Lets for its Be You. Period campaign in the Practice Areas category, under Marketing. Be You. Period was also the third-best campaign overall in the EMEA Platinum Sabre Award.
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Mike Sharman, founder of Retroviral expressed his joy at the wins, saying he was very “chuffed and insanely proud”. “Last night’s successes at the Sabre Awards really emphasise the work we are doing and how we are punching above our weight as a small agency on the tip of southern Africa, competing with the best of the best on a global scale, especially as we consider ourselves as a challenger agency for challenger brands,” he says.
Since the agency started just over 13 years it has been doing things differently, which really came to the fore in 2020 with its My Kreepy Teacher campaign. “Since then we have been doing it our way, telling branded content and developing our stories in a way that is a zig to the agency’s world zag,” he explains.
The result is campaigns such as the Checkers Sixty60 Sixty60 Swindler and the Lil-Lets BeYou. Period.
“The Lil-Lets work cuts through menstrual taboos and the platform we built for Lil-Lets helps regular South African women every day to have a conversation about the fears, the scary and taboo topics all around menstruation, something that is very close to the entire agency’s heart,” says Sharman.
He adds: “The effort, craft, insights, understanding, and nuances from those various customer segment levels are not only resulting in impactful bottom lines for our brands but also metal winning success for our agency.”