Reveal practices what it preaches with its short film festival

When it came time for Reveal Content to promote its new website, founding partner Paul Wales wanted to do something a little different from a typical LinkedIn post. Something with a little more feeling.

The solution was to produce their own “Short, Short Film Festival.” They’re calling it a “festival,” though to be clear this is a festival of their own content—with three short black-and-white films each intended to tell a complete story portraying an emotion: There’s one for joy, one for pride, and one for happiness. The entire festival runs just a bit more than five minutes.

Wales, a long-time creative director, and Bill Moir launched their content creation business in 2016. They wanted to call it Reveal, but that name was already being used by a U.S. production company. So, for the first five years of their existence, they were known as Upstream.

When the U.S. version of Reveal disappeared, Moir and Wales resurrected the name about a year ago. “It’s better for us, because our positioning is creating branded content that reveals your brand’s true potential,” said Wales. Key clients for Reveal are Swiss Chalet, the Canadian Premiere League, Springfree trampolines, Toyota, Jamieson, and Careerbliss.

The short film festival idea not only lets them show the kind of work they’re capable of but it speaks to the fundamental ethos at the core of their business. “I think a lot of a lot of brands and companies worry about what do people think about our brand,” said Wales. “But I think the more important thing is how do people feel about your brand.”

Wales and Moir believe they proved that formula works with the successful, longstanding “True Stories” brand campaign they developed together at Tim Hortons, where Moir was the CMO and Wales the creative director at JWT in the late 1990s.

A lot of the industry focus these days is on simply grabbing attention on social, with less value placed on well-crafted, meaningful storytelling. Wales created their short film festival to show how a digital story can still be well told and evocative.

“Bill and I have always believed your work is way more potent, way more powerful when you can move people or touch people with your brand,” he said. Obviously brands still need to do more rational and transactional creative for retail offers and so on, he acknowledged. “But over the long term, our belief is you build loyalty through more emotion,” he said—with feeling.

Reveal’s “Short, Short Film Festival” is live on YouTube and TikTok now.

David Brown