The video resulted in millions of YouTube views, a book deal, commercials and many a pop culture reference. So how did Randall do it? He offered a few pointers on viral video success and how to keep the momentum going.
5 Get your own TV show.
“I just have something to share with the world in a good way,” he said. “And in addition to helping these animals and these projects, I just want to entertain.”
4 Embrace print media.
“I was so excited to just get on paper these marvelous and just crazy animals and expose people once again to animals they might never have heard of,” Randall said. “A lot of the animals that are in my book are endangered. So it’s a humored way to bring the animals to people’s attention. And now I can walk around and say, ‘I’m an author like I’m a hot tamale.’”
3 Use your new-found fame to help others.
Randall also made videos ridiculing the 2012 election—“vote for the Honey Badger party” over say, Rick Perry—and has spoken out for animal rights. He said this was part of his bigger agenda to “just a one-off and here’s this and I’ll see you later.”
“For me, it was a launching pad to lasso in these other causes that I believe in,” Randall said. “It really upsets me to no end that there are so many children in our society that aren’t learning enough about animals. And you can take it a step further and there are tons of adults who don’t know enough about animals… what going viral has allowed me is the opportunity to speak out and do it in a way that other people can sort of relate to it.”
Upcoming projects include a partnership with the ASPCA and YouTube’s What’s Trending channel for what Randall said is “an animal-related song compilation” featuring YouTube celebrities. Proceeds will benefit the ASPCA.
2 Stick with the formula to make lightning strike twice.
Randall has since created similar documentary-style videos for other animals—some of which are cute (hedgehogs, guinea pigs) and some that won’t hesitate to make you their dinner (see: “The Bigass Kitty Leopard Meets Honey Badger” to the right)—at varying degrees of success.
“The trend has always been the more outrageous the animal, the more we as humans can relate to,” Randall said. “I think a lot of people have adopted the honey badger mentality and knew they had inside of them the makings of the honey badger, but they didn’t even know it was a honey badger really.”
1 Find a polarizing subject matter and put your own spin on it.
“I think [the Honey Badger video] is just a magical combination of this crazy animal that one might think is cute and perhaps huggable,” Randall said. “And then you find out it’s just absolutely fearless and will do whatever it has to do to survive. And I think it’s my combination of just telling it like it is, because I don’t think anyone’s ever experienced that when you watch wildlife footage.”