What do the numbers in our file names mean?

Wondering what those seemingly random numbers and letters mean at the end of Ad-Builder files names on Creative Outlet? They actually help to date the photos and further specify what type of graphic they are.

The numbers refer to the month and year that the graphic was added, while the “H” and “C” stand for high-res 300dpi and color respectively.

Use this information to more easily find the exact graphic you need!


#11 File Name Numbers

This image, for example, has the file name “CalendarAugustHC0710.” The term “CalendarAugust” of course stands for what the graphic is of. The “C” means that the image is in color, as opposed to its black and white counterpart which has the same title without the “C” (CalendarAugustH0710). The “H” in the file name means that the graphic is high-res 300dpi.

Lastly, the “0710” refers to the month and year that the image was uploaded. The “07” means that this image was added in 2007, and the “10” means that it was added in October of that year.

Be sure to keep this in mind the next time you search for an Ad-Builder image on Creative Outlet! Questions?  Feel free to email us at support@creativeoutlet.com.


Co-op is simply localized brand advertising

Businessmen talking in conference room

Co-op is simply localized brand advertising

Co-op advertising arrangements are baked into the local sales process of most every brand name you know. From Allstate Insurance to Zerex Anitfreeze, part of the supplier’s selling process is to build the brand nationally and engage the local seller with support for the same branded advertising at the market level. None of the national branded messaging tells the consumer where to buy the product; that’s left to the channel partner to run in local media, sometimes with the same brand content but now with where and why messaging.

As with all things, some of these co-op plans are simpler than others, but it should never be assumed that the dealer is fully aware of the details and how to use them in their own advertising efforts. With some manufacturer co-op efforts, up to a third of the established budgets for these programs can be left unused…mostly through their small to mid-sized retail partners that don’t have the resources to plan and execute with all of the program detail. With these local merchants, there is a need for assistance with ad design, manufacturer approval of the content, and co-op claim assistance to gather the advertising reimbursement.

Most co-op programs have specific guidelines for most local media products. From newspaper and direct mail to broadcast and online, these programs will have specific content requirements and claiming procedures to reimburse their channel partners for local advertising. The budgets for these programs are generally based on a percentage of wholesale purchases and are left to the local partners discretion on where and how that funding is allocated.

Agencies are stepping into the void of dealer adoption to simplify the co-op process. They offer opt-in solutions with various media types and an emphasis on digital to engage the dealer channel and perform all of the media buying functions on a regional/national scale. This, of course, will largely take local media options and individual dealer versioning off the table.

Take a look around your market area and note the local merchants with brand name signage in their locations. Paint stores with Benjamin Moore, Pittsburgh Paints…Insurance agents with State Farm, Nationwide…Oil Change Shops with Quaker State, Castrol…Flooring Stores with Mohawk, Karastan…Motorsports locations with Yamaha, Honda…not to mention all of your Auto Dealers.

All of these locations have some level of advertising support from their manufacturer partners. Some of them are better at utilizing these resources than others, but it is the rare media sales executive that will go the extra mile and offer some level of assistance here. That, in and of itself, could make all the difference in your sales efforts…since co-op can foot a sizable portion of the bill.

Tim Brennan, VP of Strategic Development for Recas
Tim Brennan, VP of Strategic Development for Recas

This information is provided by LSA 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 www.recas.com. Email Tim at tbrennan@recas.com. 

July Target List


Multi-generation family enjoying Fourth of July barbecue


Birthdays & Holidays

What can we do to make your life easier?

facebook_recasI think it’s no secret by now that the LSA acquisition of Recas (and Creative Outlet) has been a great way to improve the co-op tools available to media companies. Our database is stronger and our team is bigger & better -all to serve you.  But what else can we do to make your life easier & bring you more money in co-op? The LSA consulting services is one way.



  • Custom Consumer & SMB Surveys
  • Thought Leadership
  • Reports & Webinars
  • Go-to-Market Analysis
  • Strategy & Tactical Consulting
  • Competitive Benchmarking/SWOT Analysis
  • Product/Prototype Feedback
  • Partnership Identification
  • Market & Opportunity Sizing
  • On-Site Customer Meetings/Presentation

Ok Tim, that sounds great.  But why you?  Well, many reasons now that you ask.


  • Industry leading experience and research expertise
  • Consumer and SMB surveys for less
  • Independent organization with reputation for objectivity
  • Reach and visibility among decision makers
  • You get to work with seasoned co-op pros like Val, Holly, Phil, Ryan, Vicky and Sara and well, me.

Touch base with me and we will get you a custom-designed consulting service specific to YOUR media, YOUR market and YOUR local customers.  What are you waiting for?

Tim Brennan – tbrennan@recas.com or call me at 309-678-8745.

Tim Brennan, VP of Strategic Development for Recas
Tim Brennan, VP of Strategic Development for Recas

We’ll Create It- Custom Art Requests

When you need it, We’ll Create It with our custom art requests!  One of the biggest perks of being a Creative Outlet subscriber is the ability to get a custom-designed piece of artwork for your clients!  We’re here for you, no matter WHAT that client needs!Title

#9 Art Requests

Ad-Builder takes a lot of pride in the fact that we have great illustrators and designers who work in our Peoria office.  Because of this team, we have the ability to offer our clients one custom piece per month to make sure there’s never a reason they don’t get an ad!  From cartoon animals and quirky requests down to material that gets us saying – “Why didn’t we think of THAT?” – Creative Outlet’s Art Request is one of the most popular features for the clients who use this service.

Many times we are able to accommodate a series of illustrations (go ahead, check on the keyword, Donkey).  We LOVE that this client was able to get a larger ad and multiple runs from that advertiser because of Creative Outlet.
Here are a few of the Art Requests that have come in over the last few months.  Some you can see where they were going with the idea, others… not so sure.  Doesn’t matter to us, it’s a great way for our team to stretch their imagination AND work with you!

Is there something that you can’t find?  Get in touch with our support team & we will search for you.  If we can’t find it, then we will walk you through the We’ll Create It process.  Might take a few days, so be sure to leave some time in there… but once we get the request, our art team will be in touch so we can make sure to work on the item in the manner you want (color, cartoon, etc).  From there, the sky’s the limit!  Email us today and we can get you going – support@creativeoutlet.com

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8 Steps to Selling Co-Op Advertising to Local Advertisers | LSA Insider

BundledCurrencyHC1504_M_150_C_RMany local media organizations are either not getting the most out of co-op advertising or completely ignore these funds. Various industry estimates indicate the market is worth nearly $40 billion (or more). Yet between 40% and 50% of co-op funds go unused every year. Read more here:

Source: 8 Steps to Selling Co-Op Advertising to Local Advertisers | LSA Insider

For more information on Co-op and how we can help you increase your revenue, please contact us at sales@recas.com or visit www.recas.com

Take Advantage of Summertime Co-op


Summertime Co-op

With Memorial Day Weekend in the rear view mirror everyone’s thoughts turn to summertime and vacation mode. With co-op advertising, that gives us a raft of new things to focus on and new brands to explore. Think of the things folks do in the summertime and then focus on the brands of products that exist in that area. For example:

Summer Road Trips…lots of tire brands count on those and several have promotions available to help their dealers get the word out. Brands like BF Goodrich, Michelin, Goodyear, and Hankook all have sales promotions going on through the month of June with special offers on replacing your set of tires. Lucrative co-op offerings as well that can pay up to 100% of the ad costs.

Pool Time…while there are a few pool brands that offer co-op to its dealers, the easier co-op to discover lies in the chemicals and products to help keep that pool looking good. Brands like AquaBot, Hayward, and Zodiac with their automatic pool cleaners are a hot topic right now. And don’t forget the pool chemicals with products like Leisure Time and Baquacil that have solid co-op offerings as well.

Bar-B-Que…nothing says summer better than grilling outdoors and most of the grill brands have advertising programs to support their local dealer base. Companies like Broilmaster, Big Green Egg, Dimplex, and Weber have programs to keep your customers top of mind when somebody’s grill needs replacing.

Come the end of June a bunch of seasonal plans will expire and the earned co-op will simply disappear. One of the brands whose co-op plan expires at this time is Weber Grills…take note of that one and get your local dealer to run some Father’s Day promotion before their co-op expires. Other brands of note with expiring co-op in June include Amarr Garage Doors, Aveda Beauty Care, BRP ATVs, Columbia Flooring, Do It Best Paint, Flexsteel Furniture, Honda Outboards, Jayco Rvs, Karastan Carpet, Mohawk Carpet, Nikon Cameras, Oreck Vacuums, Snapper Lawnmowers, Stainmaster Carpet, Toyota Parts & Service, and Vespa Scooters.

It should be a busy month for you. Go sell something.

Tim Brennan, VP of Strategic Development for Recas
Tim Brennan, VP of Strategic Development for Recas

This information is provided by LSA 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 www.recas.com. Email Tim at tbrennan@recas.com. 

Ideas to increase local advertising!