Skip to content

FREE delivery when you spend £75 or more

Unplugged: three brands who went offline

We’re celebrating the brands that are rallying against the status quo and going offline.

Lush bath bombs.

Do you think you’d be brave enough to walk away from your followers, ditch your digital marketing strategy and delete your social media channels? 

In a digital-first landscape, it might sound like a crazy move. But it turns out that social media isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. There’s a general feeling of weariness with the constant online brand bombardment. One survey found that 74% of people are tired of social media ads, while another study revealed most consumers find it ‘distracting, intrusive, and inauthentic.’

It’s no wonder a handful of trailblazer brands are saying ‘see ya’ to socials and embracing a more analog approach. They’re returning to traditional advertising, as well as discovering new ways to connect with and engage their customers away from a screen. 

We’re full of admiration for the bold brands who’ve dared to take the plunge by ditching social media advertising. Let’s check out who’s doing it best.

1. Lush leads a big tech rebellion

Lush's Instagram feed showcasing why they've chosen to not be active on the platform.
Image credit: @lushcosmetics

As an inventor of bath bombs, I pour all my efforts into creating products that help people switch off, relax, and pay attention to their wellbeing. Social media platforms have become the antithesis of this aim, with algorithms designed to keep people scrolling and stop them from switching off and relaxing.” Jack Constantine, CDO & Product Inventor of Lush

On November 26th 2021, the global vegan-friendly cosmetic brand Lush walked away from its social media channels. Concerned about the seriously detrimental effects social media has on mental health and wellbeing, Lush decided enough was enough. So, they quit – a move that completely aligns with their brand values.

Now, Lush is finding new ways to connect and communicate better elsewhere. They’ve invested lots of money into their experiential marketing campaigns through pop-up stores and events, as well as focusing on more traditional advertising methods like print ads, billboards, and in-store displays. Going social-free hasn’t affected their cult following. As of July 2023, they had over a 100,000-strong waiting list for their monthly subscription box. Sometimes the scary thing can turn out to be best for your business. 

2. Bottega Veneta goes quietly radical

Famous fashion house, Bottega Venetta is not on social media.
Image credit: Bottega Veneta

“For me, pushing boundaries and taking risks are crucial to creativity… I look at Instagram and social media sometimes, but I think too much can be quite dangerous and detrimental to the creative process. Everyone seeing the same thing is not healthy or productive. It doesn’t breed individuality.” Daniel Lee, Creative Director of Bottega Veneta

Bottega Veneta’s departure in 2021 from social media platforms sent ripples throughout the fashion industry. Boasting over 2.5 million followers, the luxury brand’s decision to quit social media came without warning. It marked a step-change and a move towards prioritising authenticity and meaningful connections over digital visibility. It was also a radical rethink of marketing and brand accessibility. By curating its message more closely, it stays consistent with its exclusive luxury identity. As one of the first major fashion houses to sign off social media, Bottega Veneta will undoubtedly inspire other luxury brands to follow suit. Rachel Tashjian from GQ speculates: “Perhaps the Bottega deletion is the ultimate act of stealth luxury – it will now be a brand that travels strictly by word of mouth.” 

Spreading the brand message organically and through user-generated content champions human connection and social cohesion – something that wouldn’t be possible if it was coming from the brand itself.

Pamela N. Danziger also heralds the potential return of print marketing: “Reading a copy of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar or other fashion book on the train or at the lunch counter communicates something about the individual that being glued to one’s mobile phone doesn’t.” (That’s music to our ears as we’re always preaching about the power of print.)

3. Wetherspoons protects its patrons

Wetherspoon is a famous chain that also decided to be on social media.
Image credit: Yogeswar Kas

“We are going against conventional wisdom that these platforms are a vital component of a successful business. I don’t believe that closing these accounts will affect our business whatsoever.” Tim Martin, Founder & Chairman of JD Wetherspoon 

Wetherspoons, one of the UK’s favourite chain pubs, famous for its hearty fare and wallet-friendly drinks, made headlines when it announced the closure of its social media accounts. Founder Tim Martin voiced concerns over privacy issues, online bullying and the addictive nature of social media, prompting the bold decision to protect customer wellbeing. Although most hospitality brands rely on their social media channels, Martin labeled it a ‘distraction,’ saying that it’s a waste of time for his 900 pubs. 

While some applauded Wetherspoons’ bravery and commitment to safeguarding its patrons, others questioned the potential impact on maintaining customer connections and brand visibility. But Martin isn’t worried, saying they’ll still be as vocal as ever through the company’s magazine and press releases. 

Since deleting its social media accounts, Wetherspoons has had a nearly eight-fold rise in its pre-tax profits – proof that a brand’s success doesn’t rely on its social media presence alone. Brand credibility, word-of-mouth marketing, convenience and socio-economic factors like the cost-of-living crisis all have a huge part to play. And at the end of the day, nothing can stand in the way of someone in need of a cheap curry. 

Ready to unplug?

From Perpetual Planners that let you set your own schedule and Flyers that get your message out there to Business Cards that keep you connected, we have all the tools to support you offline. Browse the full range here, or get in touch with our team below.

Keep in touch

Get design inspiration, business tips and special offers straight to your inbox with our MOOsletter, out every two weeks.

Sign me up!