People First Stories

Sophia Cocuzza


Growing up shy and not feeling like she was fitting in due to her background, Sophia struggled to understand her diverse ethnic mix. Inspired by an ad for an ancestry test, Sophia changed her perception of herself, which also demonstrated to her the power of advertisement.

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I was born in the United States. I am half Korean and half Italian. I was raised in Italy in a very small village in the north. It wasn't so common to see mixed people.

They would speak to me slowly as if I couldn't understand the language, like as if it was obvious to them that I was not Italian. It didn't really concern me, but I did realise that they saw me differently from the way they would speak to me and they would treat me.

My Mum went through the same thing. She was born in South Korea and then moved to the US, so she really understood what it felt like. This taught me that it was okay to be different. It didn't automatically mean that we were less. This really helped me to open up my perspective and I had the chance to compare these two different realities.

I saw an online video advert about the DNA heritage test you can take. This test shows you your heritage. When people actually take the DNA test, they realise that no one is 100% part of any ethnic group, that everyone is mixed. This just made me realise that you cannot assume things about people, and that no one is 100% part of just one single ethnic group.

This is the power of advertising, this is what makes it unique and great. It's not just about promoting a brand. You can actually send a really strong message that can actually help people in everyday life.

My name is Sophia Cocuzza. I'm a Strategic Planner at MediaCom Milan.

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