A pug from Edmonds is making quite a name for herself — all because she hates iPhones, or at least the commercials for them.
A video featuring Coco, a 4 1/2-year-old black pug, has become a YouTube sensation with more than half a million followers, because her owner has captured her barking and growling at the television set every time an iPhone commercial appears.
We caught up with a member of Coco’s family, Stefan Torres, who along with a friend has created a Facebook page, a website and T-shirts commemorating the pug’s quirky anti-iPhone behavior.
Stefan, before we get to Coco, tell us about yourself:
My family (myself, parents and sister) moved from Philly across the country to Seattle when I was in grade school. After a few years we moved to Edmonds and have since stayed for 12 years. I’m a full-time registered nursing student, also working full time between two hospitals.
Now tell us about Coco. How long have you owned her, how old is she, how much does she weigh?
Our first family dog is a fawn pug by the name of Cooper. A few years after his arrival, Coco was introduced and my sister immediately fell in love with her, taking responsibility for her care. Since then, we’ve taken in a Chihuahua by the name of Minnie and a dachshund named George. They’re all great pals! We’ve owned Coco since a week after her birth and she is now 4 1/2 years old. She’s a bit self-conscious about her weight, so I think she’d be upset if I told you!
When did you first discover Coco barking at the iPhone commercial and what happened after that? At what point did you decide to make a YouTube video?
It’s been well over a year that we’ve known about Coco’s beef with the iPhone. She likes to sit on the backrest of the couch and watch TV… and it became apparent that every time an iPhone commercial popped on to the screen, she’d bolt down from the couch and start springing up at the TV set, barking madly! Once the commercial ended, she’d return to the couch to chill. This is not just on occasion; it happens every time.
How did it go viral and get so many views?
A few months ago I was telling my out-of-state friend, a mobile phone connoisseur, about Coco’s odd reaction to the iPhone, and he didn’t believe it at all. I finally got around to recording it about a week or so ago, and sent it off to him. He thought it was an absolute riot! He forwarded it to a few of his friends, and they passed it on the same. Later that night it began to pop up on all sorts of blogs and within a few days the video was featured on some very popular websites like MSNBC and CBS News to name a few.
Sounds like Coco’s pretty famous, with a Facebook page, a website and t-shirts, not to mention many media appearances. Have you been actively promoting it, or has it just happened?
Needless to say we were surprised at how popular the video became so quickly. By reading all of the reactions and responses on the YouTube page and the variety of other sites, it was clear that tons of people worldwide fell in love with little Coco-roo, including plenty of Apple fanboys! Since we’ve got some basic experience with website development and graphics design between my friend and I, we decided to have some fun with all this and start a website for her! We’re excited to say that it, too, has been extremely popular!
What’s next for Coco?
Look out for a mini web series starring Coco & Co. in the near future! Check back at the website www.pughatesiphone.com for all sorts of articles, ranging from Coco’s Top Ten Lists to mobile phone news updates (particularly Android!). For questions or additional info, readers can feel free to reach me at: www.facebook.com/stefanjt1 or by email at [email protected]