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World's Most Famous Honey Badger Fan Meets World's First Live Tweeting Honey Badger

Press Release - Johannesburg, 11 November 2013

Randall, the brains and voice behind the YouTube sensation "The Crazy Nastyass Honey Badger," has paid homage to the world's first live tweeting honey badger, South Africa's BG.

Between its online debut in January 2011 and December 2011, Randall's Honey Badger video racked up more than 26 million views and spawned a cult following on YouTube. Inspired by the viral spread, Randall created a YouTube series titled 'Randall's Wild Wild World of Animals' using similar documentary footage of wild animals.

A relative newcomer to the social media scene, BG has nevertheless also enjoyed fame. He took the world by storm in June this year when he 'took over the role' of social media spokesperson for the Johannesburg Zoo. To date, BG has tweeted over 400 times.

In his most recent honey badger video, Randall uses his irreverent talents as a narrator to create a hilarious short documenting a day in BG's life at the Johannesburg Zoo in South Africa. The documentary can be viewed here.

But, while Randall gives the lowdown on BG's habits and behaviours, he doesn't share with you just how he live tweets.

This is achieved with the help of techno wizards Hellocomputer and BinarySpace, which rigged BG's enclosure with wireless infrared motion sensors divided into six zones. These sensors talk to a server that holds a database of hundreds of pre-written BG tweets.

As BG moves from zone to zone, the motion sensors pick up on his location and automatically trigger tweets from his Twitter account, in real-time. Using built-from-scratch coding, they ensure the tweets are relevant to what he is doing at the time. For example, the front of enclosure triggers tweets relating to people; back and sides trigger tweets relating to neighbours; food bowl triggers tweets about eating, etc. See more how the tech works here.

He was introduced to the world by Hellocomputer and a campaign developed by its sister agency, Draftfcb South Africa.

Said Hellocomputer executive creative director, Kerry Friend: "We're exceptionally proud of BG. He gained 5,000 followers in 50 tweets during the first week of his campaign and over 11,000 to date, trending on Twitter while doing so.

"He has also has garnered a strong international following, been on many major sites and blogs including Times Live, Huffington Post, NotCot, Best Ads on TV, BuzzFeed, TED and Perez Hilton, and made major press, radio and television appearances worldwide, including ABC News, Fox 2 and 6 and Good Morning America.

"We're thrilled his talent was spotted by Randall and fully expect him to gain new followers as a result.

You can follow BG the Tweeting Honey Badger (or 'South Africa's Tweetheart' – as the international community fondly refers to him) at @zootweetslive or #tweetingbadger. You can view him and his role as a twitterer here and you can read the full story of how he live tweets from his enclosure here.

Note to editors: More about Randall:
The Honey Badger is a viral video featuring nature documentary footage with voiceover narration provided by Randall, a self-proclaimed animal lover who has since launched a successful YouTube series of similar videos. The Honey Badger video gained a great deal of popularity in early 2011 for its sassy commentary and irreverent personification of the mammals.

The video, titled 'The Crazy Nastyass Honey Badger (original narration by Randall)', was uploaded by YouTube czg123 on January 18th, 2011. The video features original footage taken from a National Geographic special on the ornery and tough honey badgers, which aired in 2007.

Between its online debut and December 2011, Randall's Honey Badger video racked up more than 26 million views and spawned a cult following on YouTube. By the end of the year, his channel had over 40 992 000 upload views, averaging 20 074 views a day. Randall's highly memorable quotes such as 'honey badger don't give a shit' or 'honey badger don't care', coupled with his passionate interpretation of the animal's adventures made the video an instant hit.

Towards the end of January 2011, the honey badger video was covered by Internet humour blogs like Urlesque, Huffington Post, Funny Or Die, and BuzzFeed as well as mainstream entertainment news sites like PopCrunch and TMZ.

Randall's honey badger narration also inspired a variety of image macros, remixes and tribute videos cantered around catchphrases from the video. Meanwhile, sites and stores like Hot Topic sought to capitalise on the viral status of honey badgers by launching several T-shirts and other merchandise with pictures of honey badgers and Randall quotes.

Inspired by the viral spread and positive reception of his honey badger video, Randall created a YouTube series titled 'Randall's Wild Wild World of Animals' using similar documentary footage of wild animals. Episodes included 'The Miracle of the Daffy Jesus Lizard', 'The Great White Sea-Monster' and 'The Slowass Sloth', among others.

About Draftfcb
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