Puzzles & Games

Puzzles & Games are the PERFECT supplement to your Creative Outlet subscription!   That’s right, it’s a part of what you are already getting… and who doesn’t love FREE?  We have weekly crossword puzzles, horoscopes, word searches, crypto quiz, Guess Who and a monthly Kid’s Page.
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#6 Puzzles, Games & More

Puzzles – Each crossword puzzle is available for weekly publication or you can save them up and publish a great revenue-generating section like our customer in Indiana did.  Tag a sponsor per page and you not only have a section that will draw in advertisers & readers alike – you have created something with a nice, long shelf-life!  All of our puzzles come zipped with both the questions and the answer file!Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 4.31.40 PM

Kid’s Page – each monthly our kids’s page, Kid’s Korner, comes as a broadsheet full page AND pulled apart so each component can run on its own!  So tie this into your Newspaper In Education initiative and gather sponsors – they will love it!


Sudoku – we offer you the tool to make your own puzzles, so take advantage of this popular puzzle’s appeal as often as your market will allow!


Why pay hundreds, if not thousands of dollars a year?  We know your needs and have made sure we can get you EVERYTHING you need as a part of your subscription!  Now you know!


Targeting the Best Co-op Prospects


Targeting the Best Co-op Prospects 

When the term “targeting” is used in the advertising world, it usually involves trying to determine which prospect will provide the best opportunity for success. It involves determining who wants to hear what you have to say and, more importantly, buy what you are selling. You need to ask yourself, “Which businesses are going to help me hit the bull’s-eye.”

When it comes to co-op advertising, there are several key factors you MUST focus on to determine your best prospects:

  • Local businesses—Identify the “mom and pop” stores in your area. They will often benefit the most from co-op advertising and they make their advertising decisions locally.
  • Brand-name products—Co-op funds are most often attached to products and services from major manufacturers. Of course, co-op can be found in brands from any size company, but you’re certainly more likely to find success with bigger names.
  • High turnover of specific products—Many co-op plans are based on how much a retailer sells, so those constantly buying products from manufacturers tend to have higher accrual funds.
  • Direct purchases from manufacturers—Retailers who buy directly from the manufacturer are ideal due to the one-on-one nature of their buying structure. Note: You can still get money when distributors/middle men are involved in the purchasing process.
  • Simple is better—Some retailers are simply easier to work with and will provide a better return on your time investment. Current advertisers are always a good start. Then look for businesses with good reputations and work from there.

As for the business types, depending on your location and the influx of big box competition, you should see success with hardware, sporting goods, lawn & garden, jewelry, boating, etc.; however, the following categories will typically bring in the biggest ad dollars. (Note: In all cases, your co-op activity should focus on product categories that are key to your area.)

Home improvement businesses—from contractors and installers to specialty stores and supply warehouses—offer co-op at every level of the brand distribution cycle. Product lines will run from air conditioning and appliances to carpet and flooring to paint and wallpaper, and everything in-between. Most of these products will either be high volume or high cost per unit.

Automotive dealers often have a decent understanding of the co-op arrangement for their new vehicles, but that is not always the case. Plans may vary regionally and/or seasonally based on inventory levels, but certified pre-owned and parts & service plans may offer the most opportunity to assist the local dealer.

Auto accessories covers a wide amount of product lines across a large number of manufacturers, including all of the major oil and tire brands. Aftermarket stores and auto service shops often carry a wide selection of brands with co-op funds

Power Equipment brands—from power tools to lawn mowers to heavy-duty farm equipment—are generally carried by local independent hardware stores and specialized equipment dealers. The seasonal structure of these businesses means the stores often pre-order most of their inventory well ahead of the season. When possible, advertising programs should be outlined prior the season to maximize co-op draw.

Motor Sports can accrue significant dollars over the course of a season, especially with dealers who carry multiple brands in inventory. Manufacturers in this category are heavily promotional, with ads, signage and point-of-purchase material sent to dealers to reflect the latest consumer offers


For more information on how LSA Recas can help take the mystery out of co-op advertising, contact us today at sales@recas.com  For more information on how Recas can help expand your brand advertising potential, please visit http://www.recas.com

Tim Brennan, VP of Strategic Development for Recas

Tim Brennan, VP of Strategic Development for Recas  tbrennan@recas.com

10 tips for building a local brand that will boost your local search ranking

Read more important tips for building a local brand from Wesley Young.  Wesley is the Local Search Association’s vice president of Public Policy.

Branding is often viewed as the domain of large national businesses. Yet small businesses will benefit from branding strategically on a local level. Columnist Wesley Young takes a look at ways to boost your profile and your page rank with local branding strategies.

Source: 10 tips for building a local brand that will boost your local search ranking

LSA acquires Ad-Builder (Recas, Creative Outlet)


Dear Valued Client,

I wanted to reach out personally to let you know of some exciting news. Today we announced that Ad-Builder (Recas, Creative Outlet, etc.) was acquired by Local Search Association (LSA), a not-for-profit industry association that represents the local and location-based marketing industry.

LSA released some of the details and motivations behind the deal in a press release, but I am sure you are wondering how this impacts your relationship with Ad-Builder, Recas and/or Creative Outlet. To put it simply, you will continue to have access to the products and services you utilize today, but will also have access to discounts and resources offered by LSA.

LSA is a membership-based organization, with about 300 members in nearly 20 countries. Members include big names like Google, YP, Yelp, MapQuest, Bing and many others. In addition, LSA offers membership packages for small/regional publishers and agencies (like many of you) and here is how LSA helps them:

  • Intelligence: Extensive list of media performance, SMB and consumer research, reports, tools, data and training.
  • Exposure: Get your company in front of an audience of local marketing/media experts and/or an audience of small businesses via LSA’s various communication channels.
  • Networking & Events: Learn, network and grow with decision makers at major internet companies via events, webinars, introductions, etc.

LSA offers a long list of benefits that can help you and your business learn and grow. In addition, if you would like to learn more about the company, check out its Company Overview deck.

We are excited for this new opportunity to have a partner that is as passionate about local advertising as we are and know that this new combined venture will help you reach and sell more to your local merchants.  As we move forward we will provide more details around how you can take advantage of LSA’s offerings by becoming an LSA member. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to your account manager or contact me directly.

Thank you for your business.  –  JILL




Jill Addy Wright

President Ad-Builder


Getting Prior Approval for Co-op

Getting Prior Approval for Co-opWomanWLoanApprovalColor0008_S_72_C_R

One of the most integral and sometimes overlooked aspects of co-op advertising is Getting Prior Approval for Co-op ads.

Failure to receive proper co-op approval from the manufacturer may very well result in your advertiser’s reimbursement being denied by the manufacturer. Nothing will tarnish your relationship with your advertisers more than broken promises and unpaid manufacturer claims.

To prevent this, make sure the creative follows any applicable guidelines using the available co-op plan information. Then upon advertiser approval, email the final proposal and ad copy to the manufacturer or their co-op administrator for review. Most often, only one copy of each ad is required for prior approval, even if that ad is running in multiple publications and/or on multiple dates.

When sending prior approval requests, it is recommended you:

  • Use “prior approval” in the subject line and ensure you are using the proper email address.
  • Use a co-op prior approval form.
  • Reference all of the local dealer information including their dealer account number.
  • Include all appropriate ad dates, costs and pertinent media information on the proposal. Distribution information or rate cards may be requested.

In most cases, the manufacturer or agency will note the request upon arrival. They will review the content of the ad plan and either approve or disapprove the ad within 24 to 48 business hours of receipt.

With approved ads, the manufacturer or agency should notify the original sender with a prior approval number you can reference when submitting claims related to the advertising plan.

With disapproved ads, the manufacturer or agency should notify the original sender with a prior approval number and additional instructions or comments regarding the content of ad. You may then make the suggested changes and resubmit the ad for a second review to ensure it qualifies for reimbursement.

Be sure to keep all prior approval documentation on file, so if needed, you can include or provide it to the manufacturer during the claim submission process.

Taking every measure to ensure the ad meets all the manufacturer specifications put forth in the plan will not only guarantee your co-op ad is reimbursed, but will help bring peace of mind to both you and your retailer before the ad runs. – TIM

Tim Brennan, VP of Strategic Development for Recas Tim Brennan, VP Recas Strategic Development 309-678-8745  | tbrennan@recas.com



This information is provided by Recas to help take the mystery out of co-op advertising. For more information on how Recas can help expand your brand advertising potential, please visit Recas.

Headless? Auto Dealers will LOVE you!

Who’s your most creative advertiser?  For many of you, it’s your local auto dealers & they are always looking for the most attention-grabbing ideas.  We have just what you need, check out the keyword “Headless“.

#5 Headless

HeadlessManCannonC1510_M_150_C_RWe have close to 200 headless images on Creative Outlet, most in a theme so you can run them either as a series – or have sales reps featured.

Here are some of the attention-grabbing ideas that we like.  Let us know what works in your market!  Don’t forget, if you don’t see it on the site,  our subscribers can take advantage of our We’ll Create It request (more on that later!).

Let us know what you are looking for at support@creativeoutlet.com


Copy Space – Your New Favorite

Today we continue our top suggestions for getting more out of Creative Outlet with Copy Space – your new favorite keyword combination!

A section of a roof against a cloudy sky
A section of a roof against a cloudy sky

#4 – Copy Space

When you are building ads and other marketing material for your clients, we know there are many times when you will need to drop copy into the context of the image.  You can EASILY find images that have the space allocated to do this with one simple search – “Copy Space”.   How easy you ask?  How about close to 85,000 images and ideas that will give you this freedom!  Here are few examples of exactly what you can find when you search.

As always, we are here to walk you though anything you might need!  support@creativeoutlet.com or call us at 309-690-5324.

Acoustic Guitar on Wood
Acoustic Guitar on Wood






Gift for Dad
Gift for Dad




Ideas to increase local advertising!