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Franco Cozzo (born 1936 in Italy) is an Italian-Australian businessman and iconic figure. Arriving in Australia with his young family during the immigration period of the 1950s. Cozzo set himself up with a furniture business, with only the clothes on his back and little else. Since then he has become a great success story for "new Australians" everywhere. His background actually consists of an Italian father and a Greek mother, contrary to the popular belief that he is 100% ethnic Italian.
Franco grew up in Sciily, the son of a poor horse trader. In 1955, Cozzo migrated to Australia at the age of 20. Despite his poor English, he started selling door to door. Within five years, he had established a partnership with furniture manufacturer in Collingwood. Shortly after he was able to raise the capital to establish his own business.
Cozzo is best known for the establishment of "Franco Cozzo" furniture in the city of Melbourne, Australia. His furniture chain started over 40 years ago, with Cozzo, despite his old age, continuing to appear on advertisements, speaking in Italian, Greek and English. He proudly spruiks of his stores in Brunswick and Footscray, which have made Cozzo an iconic figure. "Comprare da Franco Cozzo" and "Megalo megalo megalo" are some of the taglines of his business that has made him legendary. H
e is fondly remembered for the phrase "a brunswick and'a footiscray", adding an extra syllable, and the 60 second TV commercial has recently surfaced from a private collector. Another version was produced not long afterwards with a new tagline, thus "inna norta melban and'a footiscray".
Franco became a celebrity figure with a series of television commercials during the 1980s. The commercials featured what some considered to be gaudy and extravogent furniture. However, Cozzo's accent and his passion caught the imagination of television viewers. In particular, his combination of languages was enjoyed by Many non-Mediterranean born Australians also enjoyed Franco's many many Italian - and Greek - expressions, with some people even asking their Italian and Greek friends to teach some of these expressions. Let us try to re-construct the text of one of his advertisements: Franco Cozzo, per la prima volta in Australia, dchiara guerra - guerra ai prezzi
Grand sale, grand sale, grand sale
Where? In Brunswick and a Foot(a)scray.
Franco Cozzo ave(a) da pleasure to-a presenta to you
"Il Modernissimo" Bedroom Suites, dining room and wonderful lounge
Why don't you come for yourself and 'ave a looka this magnifico Il Modernissimo
Only can found from Franco Cozzo
Buy from Franco Cozzo
Megalo!, megalo!, megalo! sepoyama Franco Cozzo
Travateria, ? da cameras, salogne, carecos, a poco Franco Cozzo
E lage nagorasita e po crasto Franco Cozzo
In Brunswick and(a) Foot(a)scray nagorasita Franco Cozzo
???? Grande Svedita
Dove? a Brunswick and a Footscray
Sei mobile ???? oggi, domani, sempre,
da Franco Cozzo dove andare
Dove? a Brunswick and a Footscray
comprare da Franco Cozzo!
(This text has been transcribed phonetically from the original television commercial and needs the help of a native speaker to fill in certain gaps)
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