Throughout his advertising career, Frank Mingo helped forge a creative strategy that broadened brand appeal to include ethnic minorities. Mingo’s major contribution to advertising was in the area of marketing segmentation, which he exhibited through his involvement in national politics, media and race relations.
After serving as a lieutenant in the armed services, Mingo began his advertising career at J. Walter Thompson Co. where he was the agency’s first African American account executive. After joining McCann-Erickson as vice president, management supervisor, Mingo was the driving force behind the introduction of one of America’s most popular brands, Lite Beer from Miller, taking the brand from a $20,000 research program to a multi-million dollar brand. With a successful brand launch under his belt, Mingo saw the opportunity to begin his own agency, and with the help of Interpublic did so, with Miller as one of his first accounts.
Mingo-Jones, co-founded with Caroline Jones in New York in 1977, was one of the first African American advertising agencies formed and had grown to become one of the foremost ethnic agencies in the country. The agency led the way in the development of cross-over ethnic campaigns that later became general market advertising, most notably the Kentucky Fried Chicken campaign’s "We Do Chicken Right."
In 1987 Mingo helped found Los Angeles-based Muse Cordero Chen Inc., the nation’s only multi-ethnic ad agency targeting consumers of African American, Asian and Hispanic descent.
In spite of demanding business commitments, Mingo dedicated himself to strengthening and building the African American community. His contributions to the National Urban League, the NAACP, the American Association of Advertising Agencies and Western States Advertising Agency helped develop programs attracting and sustaining more minorities in the advertising business.