“You can be a small boutique retailer in Timaru and have the same tools for global outreach as Proctor & Gamble. That’s the power of Facebook and the internet there in once sentence.”
Thus speaks Mark D’Arcy, the creative head of Facebook, and expat Kiwi, who’s heading back to New Zealand for a flying visit next week, including a breakfast briefing as part of AUT’s Project Connect series.
D’Arcy, who’s tall, handsome, charming and probably does wear jodhpurs in his spare time*, brings a treasury of data and insights about the use of Facebook, including as a force for social good. Facebook's social good team, which numbers in the dozens, is building a new suite of products that tap into the social causes and personal needs of its community.
D’Arcy is also well positioned to see New Zealand from a global point of view. Despite being a US-based globe-trotting executive, he retains a special interest in New Zealand and is a regular returnee. He’s also on the board of the Friends of AUT, a New York-based club of AUT alumni.
“I have a bias towards New Zealand. I can’t help it. I’d really like to see New Zealand businesses be more successful on the world stage. You know, we really do have a fantastic reputation for creativity and intellectual curiosity.
“Our Achilles heel is that we’re just not ambitious enough. We don’t believe that we can scale our businesses to truly global. And yet the power of Facebook, and the internet in general, means that the tyranny of distance doesn’t apply anymore.
“There’s no reason why a Moa Beer can’t be made as relevant to a 27 year-old in a New York bodega as a beer by Anheuser-Busch. No reason at all, except ambition.”
Prior to joining Facebook he spent seven years at Time Warner, where he was chief creative officer of its Global Media Group. In 2009 he was also named President of the group and received a 2010 World Class New Zealand award for his leadership in creative industries. He is a member of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, the Board of Trustees for the Museum of the City of New York, the Advertising Club of New York and the Independent Filmmaker Project. He also serves on the creative review committee for the Ad Council's, the organisation behind some memorable campaigns:
As the director of global creative solutions for Facebook, D’Arcy is also leading the outreach to advertising agencies and creative studios to exploit Facebook in more inventive ways. He says with more than 1 billion active users, Facebook has become the internet for many people and the site has developed a wide range of tools for marketers and agencies. These include:
- Creative shop https://www.facebook.com/business/a/creative-tools
- Awards https://www.facebook-studio.com/awards/winners/2015
- Hackathon https://www.facebook.com/hackathon/