Encyclopædia Britannica

Reposition the 244-year-old institution as a digital learning brand.


  • Leverage the milestone news of a venerable brand discontinuing its iconic print set of encyclopedias to engage and mobilize opinion leaders, institutional clients, knowledge seekers, elite media and social influencers around the world to advance and ratify the company’s transformation into a digital education and instruction company.


  • Created a solid foundation for ongoing awareness of new brand positioning through more than 2.5 billion impressions in print, broadcast and online media.
  • Developed relationships with key influencers who continue to tell the Britannica story.
  • Generated front-page stories in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Financial Times, International Herald Tribune and feature packages on all national broadcast networks (e.g., ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Bloomberg, Associated Press, Fox, CNBC, NPR), as well as “The Tonight Show,” “The Today Show” and “Good Morning America.”
  • Garnered subsequent waves of media coverage and chatter with program extensions that generated follow-up stories in leading international broadcast, print and online media, as well as mainstream programs such as “Jeopardy!” and “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!”
  • Created scarcity for remaining volumes, which led to the immediate sale of the final 8,000 print sets ($1,400 per set) and significant growth in digital subscriptions from consumers and institutions.

ComBlu’s Role

  • Developed “Facts Matter” campaign, integrating compelling messaging and creative to effectively rebrand Britannica as a digital, mobile and social innovator with a diversified portfolio of products featuring trusted, vetted content for instruction, reference and learning.
  • Conducted extensive listening studies to identify appropriate topics, venues and influencers and to guide messaging, strategic approach and execution.
  • Led workshops and training sessions with company executives to ensure effective communication of messages.
  • Translated messaging into an arsenal of digital assets for influencers to use to bring their own stories to life, including videos, blogs, infographics and other social assets.
  • Identified credible third parties to endorse and support new positioning.
  • Launched a comprehensive influencer outreach program to establish relationships, reintroduce the “new” Britannica and seed ideas for future coverage, stories and collaboration.
  • Booked influencer deskside briefings in advance of “Britannica Day” to ensure the announcement received widespread attention.
  • Enhanced and leveraged company-owned social channels, including the Britannica blog, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube sites, to support the campaign; coordinated and supervised effort across various social media platforms.
  • Extended program with a series of high-profile ancillary events, promotions and campaigns to increase awareness about and encourage trial of the company’s product suite.