Marketing Martech Brandtech

‘We’re converting hype into ideas’: Mark D’Arcy on Facebook to Brandtech Group move


By John McCarthy | Opinion editor

June 22, 2022 | 5 min read

The former head of the Facebook Creative Shop Mark D’Arcy has joined the Brandtech Group as partner and chief creative officer. The Drum asks how he will leverage his experience at the tech giant to connect brands to consumers through tech that may include the metaverse, augmented reality (AR) and web3.


Facebook’s Mark D’Arcy joins Brandtech Group to ‘convert web3 hype into tangible ideas’

Back in January, tech-savvy marketing firm You & Mr Jones rebranded as The Brandtech Group to place a clearer emphasis on its expertise “using technology to connect brands and people.” But, speaking to The Drum, D’Arcy says he’s known founder David Jones for “more than a decade and admired what he and his partners have been building immensely.”

D’Arcy, Facebook’s so-called “ad guru,” announced his departure in August 2021. He says his new employer is “planted firmly in the future.” Once running a team of 300, D’Arcy brings a love of “building things.” He adds: “When I look at the potential that the next wave of innovation is going to create for existing and new businesses to transform how they serve their communities and drive growth, it’s mind-blowing.”

Of course, he’s critiquing future technologies with a sense of skepticism. He knows the “the hard bit is converting the theoretical hype and optimism into actual tangible ideas that you can execute, scale and measure.”

D’Arcy will lead the group’s technology-enabled creative solutions for brands, backed with a “significant war chest to invest and make acquisitions.”

From his time at Facebook, he learned about how digital spaces form, and how content and community give them life. He says: “First and foremost these spaces belong to the people – and marketers, no matter how big and powerful we think we are, don’t have the right to be there, just the opportunity.”

He will focus clients on creating things “with relevance and value for the people.” The canvas may evolve but an underlying base of creativity will always “unlock potential” and form a “competitive advantage.” To add a little more dimension to these claims, The Drum asked D’Arcy what work has inspired him so far.

“I’ve been lucky to be traveling around a little this summer and a real highlight was spending a few hours at the Gucci Garden in Florence. It was really fun seeing how it translated such an epic real-world environment into Roblox for people everywhere.”

He adds: “There are tons of cool experiments going on, we are in such early days of this next third wave of innovation. I’m excited for the next 18+ months, when I have to think it will graduate to investing in helpful and replicable ideas that regular people (not just nerds like us) will find really useful and will therefore scale.”

But are these activations flights of fancies, experiments and distractions coming at a time when marketers need to double down (as Proctor and Gamble’s Mark Pritchard says) on the stuff they know works?

D’Arcy responds: “Many companies are still working hard to catch up to the last wave of digital transformation that accelerated through Covid, and this work remains vital. It’s never been more critical for marketing organizations to have one foot planted firmly in the future. What I think the current economic challenges should bring is greater discipline to how and where companies invest in these areas. Just ‘waiting to see’ can be a very expensive mistake to make.”

Brandtech Group founder and chief exec David Jones adds: “Mark is widely known as the person who taught brands how to use social media. I’ve known him for more than a decade and he’s an amazing talent. With Mark you get brilliant creativity, deep business acumen and a unique understanding of how to leverage technology to drive growth. Most people have only one of those skill sets. He will be able to bring his unique insights from spending 10 years as the chief creative officer of the world’s largest social media platform to our clients, while forging a new path for them in web3 and the metaverse.”

D’Arcy joined Facebook in 2011 as chief creative officer of Facebook Creative Shop, the platform’s in-house creative strategy unit, leading teams across 18 cities, and in 2012 founded the Facebook Creative Council. In 2018, he was appointed Facebook vice-president global business marketing and chief creative officer. Before his Facebook stint, he spent seven years at Time Warner in New York as chief creative officer and later also as president of its Global Media Group.

You & Mr Jones was founded in June 2015 by former Havas Global chief executive officer and Facebook Client Council founding member David Jones. Group clients include Adidas, Banco Itaú, Danone and Meta.

Marketing Martech Brandtech

More from Marketing

View all


Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +