Employee Spotlight: Recas Product Manager, Ryan Stevenson

stevenson_ryanIn the spotlight this month is Ryan Stevenson, Recas product manager and a 16-year veteran of Ad-Builder. Ryan has been in his current position for 12 years and served as a Recas account manager prior to that. When talking to Ryan, it doesn’t take long to see how much he genuinely loves life in and outside of Recas & co-op.

What Ryan enjoys most about working for Ad-Builder is the camaraderie. The team here feels like family to him. A typical workday for Ryan includes tackling daily product procedures, as well as meeting with his team to address service and product concerns. The bulk of Ryan’s workday is spent in the planning, development and execution of the Recas product. He loves being able to strategize, build and implement a product that can have an immediate impact on those in the media that utilize it. “Nothing is more fulfilling for me as a product manager,” he states, “than when users claim success from the product.”

Part of the development of the product, which Ryan truly enjoys, entails speaking to clients who utilize Ad-Builder products and services. He feels strongly that if you are open to suggestion and listen closely enough, you can take away something from every client conversation you experience, which you can use to improve your product. Ryan wants his clients to feel like their opinions matter and what they say will have an influence in the product and its development. “If your product is not a reflection of your clients’ needs,” he adds, “then you probably weren’t listening to them to begin with. Without respecting and valuing our customers’ input, we would have never survived as a product that has served and continues to serve as a leader in marketplace for over 30 years.”

Outside of work, Ryan likes to spend quality time with his family, friends and dogs, Bacchus and Carley. He and his wife, Melissa, just celebrated their 10th anniversary. They have two children, a son named Aidan and a newborn, Remy, both of whom Ryan feels are “pretty much perfect.” Outside of that, Ryan enjoys reading, watching films, listening to and playing music, and watching and playing sports. His favorite teams are the Chicago Cubs and the Detroit Lions. Ultimately, Ryan would like to be known as a good, compassionate man who strives to be the best husband and father he can.

Thank you, Ryan, for opening up to us in the Employee Spotlight this month. We couldn’t imagine the Recas product without you. Thanks for all you do and your hard work and dedication to the company.

Easy Search Tips for Creative Outlet

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 11.46.20 AM#2 – Searching

Looking for Easy Search Tips for Creative Outlet? Searching for just the right image, photo or ad for your client can be daunting, but we are here to give you some assistance in finding what you need.

When searching, if you are looking to browse, we suggest you start with a larger search string so you can see the most images, styles and ideas.  For example, when you search for Bridal, we have 2,700 items in this category. Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 11.13.08 AM

If you are looking for something more specific, don’t forget to include the spaces Bridal (space) ad, bridal frame, bridal photo, bridal heading, bridal editorial, bridal banner.


Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 11.16.30 AM


Still not sure, begin typing and we have suggestions that will come up that ties into all of our keywords (It’s a good way to see if you are spelling things correctly too – trust me!).

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 11.15.52 AM





You can substitute any keyword for Bridal, but this gives you a good idea of some of the categories we frequently offer.

We have an in-house Digital Production team who is here to help you whenever needed.  Get in touch with your account manager & we can make sure that you find whatever it is that you’re looking for today.  Email us anytime at support@creativeoutlet.com.


Spring Co-op Inspiration

Spring Co-op Inspiration
By Tim Brennan, MultiAd
person holding seedling, close up of hands
Ah, Spring…it’s when retailers and brands pop out of th
e winter doldrums and a new season of promotions rolls
through the marketplace. This year, despite a botched
prediction from that famous groundhog, the season is
starting a bit later than expected, so for much of the country
there’s still time to jump. And every salesperson—even the co-op
veteran who knows the magic of co-op firsthand—needs a li
ttle inspiration now and again, so here’s a few tidbits to
keep the sales rolling in!
  • Stick to the easy stuff…you’ll have far more luck with major brands.
  • Look for the big-name product lines that have fairly established programs and materials. The big manufacturers are much easier to work with since the parameters are already established for dealer promotion. Merely work with the available ads, print out the program details, and offer to help.
  • Take advantage of manufacturer promotions…special financing, gift with purchase and new product introduction offers hit the market all the time. The manufacturer is promoting these through the major networks and other national media and usually trying to “incentivize” their dealers to run local promotion as well.
  • When you’re watching TV and see a brand promotion, ask yourself if your local stores are tagging along with this and go call on them.   For example:
Carpets & Flooring –  A carpet manufacture is offering a “buy more, save more” promotion through June and also has co-promotion running with HGTV for carpet treatment.
HVAC – Is someone celebrating an anniversary with special financing and rebates for its heating and cooling systems.
Motorsports – all of the major brands are coming out hard into the
early season with special offers. Check with Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki, Polaris and Arctic Cat to see if they are offering special deals for new models and older inventory of motorcycles and ATVs.
Mowers – It’s that time of year & most of the brands have special financing promotions geared for the early season including Toro,
Snapper/Simplicity, Cub Cadet, Kubota, Grasshopper, Rhino, etc.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. If there’s a major manufacturer brand with your local dealer in the home improvement category there’s likely some sales incentive going on right now or starting soon. Ask them about the co-op support from the brand in helping their promotion and offer your assistance with the details.
This information is provided by Recas to he
lp take the mystery out of co-op advertising. For more information on how Recas can help expand your brand
advertising potential, please visit us!
Contact Me with any questions or to get more information on how a co-op department can increase your revenue. – TIM


Tim Brennan, Recas of VP Strategic Development  | 309-678-8745

Tim Brennan

‘Purple Reign’: Front pages mourn the death of Prince

As the world mourns the music legend, we thought this was a great visual tribute by our industry.  Here are a few examples, but check out the Poynter article to see the full story. 


Newspapers offered front-page tributes to Prince on Friday. Here’s the front from the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the artist’s hometown newspaper:   As with the recent death of David…

Source: ‘Purple Reign’: Front pages mourn the death of Prince – Poynter

Who’s in the Spotlight? Ad-Builder Team member Jennifer Clough!

As one of the newest members of the Ad-Builder Team, Jennifer Clough has shown great ambition, promise and drive since arriving at Ad-Builder in January 2014 as a business development manager for Creative Outlet. She loves working in sales, interacting with and getting to know her customers, before heading home at the end of the day to spend quality time with her family.

Jennifer Clough Portrait
Jennifer Clough

Jennifer has been working in sales for more than 15 years, which has provided her with a rich background in the industry. She has previous experience in different sales positions, such as retail business-to-business, marketing and customer service. Most recently, she worked for a large daily newspaper as a multi media account executive and in wireless as a consultant, both of which helped increase her technological skills and knowledge. Being active in Business Network International (BNI) has cultivated partnerships and a referral-based sales approach. “There is no better compliment than a referral,” Jennifer states. “It shows I helped a customer find what they most needed.” Jennifer’s broad background has placed her in a unique position to offer creative solutions to customers to benefit their needs and efforts.

My son Dylan
Jennifer’s son, Dylan

Inside Jennifer’s office area on her desk, you will find a large photo of her son, Dylan, smiling big! Dylan, who is 12 years old, is Jennifer’s life! Outside of work, you can usually find her at hockey practices and games, where Dylan plays goalie and she served as team manager last year. Jennifer admits hockey can be time consuming and expensive, but Dylan and his dreams are worth every penny. “It is his passion, so I want to make it happen for him, to make his dreams come true as best as I can,” she says. The two also enjoy other sports, like football and baseball, which can create a little rivalry in the house, Cubs vs. Cardinals for example, and keeps things interesting. Band and music are important to the family as well. Jennifer says she is blessed to have such a close family. Her parents, Bob and Renae, have been married for more than 40 years and are Jennifer’s examples of how to be great parents and a good person. Her sister, Michelle, also works in the same building as a client services manager for Kwikee and loves it as much as she does. The two sisters are also best friends. Family comes first for Jennifer, and life outside of work drives her energy and happiness.

Dylan Hockey
Dylan in his hockey gear

We are so grateful to Jennifer for opening up to us this month and giving us insight into her life here and outside of Ad-Builder. We’re glad to have yet another dedicated member on the team who genuinely wants to make connections with customers. Thanks, Jennifer!

My Family
Jennifer and her family



Free Baseball Graphic only available on Creative Outlet!

Opening  Day has arrived!  Are you going as crazy for America’s Favorite Pastime as we are?  Sitting in Central Illinois, we are 1/2 way between St. Louis and Chicago… so baseball season creates a house divided at Ad-Builder! Since the admin is a Cubs fan…GO CHICAGO! No matter who you root for, here’s a great FREE BASEBALL GRAPHIC to get your advertising started.  Play Ball!


Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 11.54.01 AM

Sales & Graphic Design ideas to increase local advertising!