Transcending time: Decoding Humanities for today’s world

“The biology of mind bridges the sciences – concerned with the natural world – and the humanities – concerned with the meaning of human experience.”
–   Eric Kandel

Undisputedly, humanity is a study of all things that define this world as it stands today and the many events that led it there. It is in fact, ‘a story of all things culturally human and everything else that supports it.’

The humanities include the academic disciplines of philosophy, religion, languages, and literature, linguistics, history, and the arts. The discipline uses methods that are primarily critical, or speculative, and have a significant historical perspective. The subject, of course, is as vast as human history itself!

Recording the story of humanity dates back in time- from clay tablets to papyrus rolls to parchment paper to wood and then paper and books; ‘publishing’ has come a long way!

The brief

Founded in the golden era of Dutch history and culture in 1683, Brill is one of the world’s oldest publishing houses; although fairly young if you consider the history of publishing. But the 330+ years since the company has been in existence, it has had a rich publishing history in the niches of humanities and international law and, to a restricted extent, in the sciences.

With millions of titles to their credit, Brill today publishes close to 1,400 books and reference works per year in both print and electronic format. Assuredly, the company does not need any introduction or marketing to increase web traffic or popularity with those remotely connected with the world of academia in the US and European markets. But their ‘living’ vision to remain contextual — that have helped them evolve over 300 years — required them to remain relevant in today’s world of rapidly diminishing borders so as to continue to grow for another 500 years.

Brill came to Impact Science with two challenges.
First, to figure out an enterprising way to connect with new audiences and geographies in the most relevant and contextual way possible.
Second, to find a fitting way to showcase their flagship product, the LBO – Linguistic Bibliography Online.


When Brill approached Impact Science to come up with ideas for content creation and running campaigns, our team of writers, illustrators, and graphic designers – was visibly excited.

During the project discovery phase, Brill sensitized us on what brand image and product USP they would like their niche target audience to perceive – keeping in mind, the cultural nuances across geographies they wanted the message to reach, and the information they wanted us to highlight. Based on this, we conceptualized the entire campaign from start to end with full creative liberty from Brill.

For the first part of the brief, which was taking the brand Brill to new audiences across the world, we decided to create an integrated campaign package that involved

  • – a 3-minute video that introduced Brill
  • – a 30-sec video teaser
  • – a video summary with subtitles in five languages (Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and French)
  • – standees to be displayed at key events and
  • – a web-story (hosted on Brill’s homepage).

Sneak peek of the creative samples:

1-The video introduced Brill through an engaging treatment of animation, infographics, interviews, and walk-throughs, strung together to tell the Brill story. The video was supported with a teaser and with subtitles in five languages.

2-These brand-styled standees were designed to be placed in strategic locations at event venues to connect with the global author community.

3-The Web story that narrated the brand stories in a series of scrolls using animation, videos, graphics, and more, was hosted on Brill’s home page.

For promoting Brill’s unique and esteemed product, Linguistic Bibliography Online (or LBO as it is popularly known) we created a multi-faceted communication package comprising of

  • – a 3 min animated video summary
  • – a 30-sec video teaser
  • – translated versions of the video in five languages (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, French)
  • – an interactive infographic, and
  • – a static infographic (used to share as handouts in meetings, conferences, etc.).

Snapshot of the creative outcome

1-The video summary was strategically created in 2D animation in an ‘explainer video’ style. This allowed us to address all possible questions any researcher, librarian, or academic could probably have about the product and its uses. The same was then translated into five languages to connect with new audiences in new geographies. A short 30-sec teaser was also created to reach a wider audience including funders and non-specialist audiences.

2-An interactive infographic explaining LBO along with the same storyline, but contextualized to a scroll-through format with additional details were created and hosted on Brill’s own homepage.

3-Additionally, static infographics were also created to be shared as handouts at key locations and events.

The impact

All the communication solutions found huge resonance among users and audiences, much to the delight of the brand marketing team at Brill. They received an enthusiastic response from their stakeholders and curious new audiences.

For the brand campaign, audiences found an easy, contemporary connect with the most classic studies, creating an image for Brill as a 300-year young brand with its vision set on the future, for researchers across the world.

For the amplification campaign of their flagship product LBO, the traction came in the form of new traffic to the site, lead generation, and inquiries into their other products.

Delighted with the experience, Brill continues to remain a satisfied client of Impact Science with multiple varied projects on the anvil.

Stay tuned to this blog for an update – Part 2 about the Brill case study series!

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