Creative Files Overview

Creative files are an integral part of any offer, as affiliates often use creatives in their campaigns to promote the offer. Providing a robust set of creatives to affiliates generally improves an offer's performance. Plus, having readily available creatives lowers the barrier to entry for affiliates to get their offers live on their campaigns.

HasOffers provides the infrastructure for you and your affiliates to store image banners, Flash banners, HTML ads, text links, email creatives, and XML feeds within your network. You can also upload and have non-standard creatives available, along with hidden assets and offer thumbnails.

To use this feature, first go to Company > Customize Application > Settings > Offer. Then set Creative Manager / Ad Manager to "Enabled".

This article is part of our Popular Features series.

Creative File Types

When most people think of creative files, they think of banners and Flash banners. While these are the most common, there are many more options and methods to promote the offer. The supported creative file types are listed below.

Image Banners

Image banners are the most common creative files on the internet, and are also known as display banners. These image files must be in one of the following formats: *.gif *.jpg, *.jpeg, or *.png. Creative code can be generated for these images. The height and width are determined dynamically upon upload.

Image & Flash Banners →

Flash Banners

Rich media Flash files only. These flash files must be in a *.swf format. Creative code will be generated for these flash banners with HTML embeddable code. Tracking links will be passed to the flash banner with flashvars using clickTAG and clickTag.

Image & Flash Banners →

HTML Ads

With HTML ads, you can add in custom creative code and upload any supporting images to be added in the HTML code. Since we don't generate the HTML automatically like with image and Flash banners, you have to specify where to add the affiliate's tracking link by adding a {tracking_link} macro to the creative code. This will be generated dynamically for each affiliate that grabs the tracking link. For HTML ads, you will need to specify the height and width. This is the best option if you are hosting your banner creatives outside HasOffers.

HTML & Email Creatives →

Email Creatives

Similar to HTML ads, email creatives are used to display custom HTML code with the goal to be displayed in an email newsletter. The main difference between email and standard HTML creatives is the email creative requires an unsubscribe link at the bottom, and there are no dimensions set.

HTML & Email Creatives →

Text Links

This is a standard HTML anchor tag that contains simple call-to-action text. You insert the {tracking_link} macro in the anchor tag to generate tracking links for affiliates.

Text Links →

XML Feeds

This creative is a quick way to take a syndicated list of products listed in an XML formatted file and swap out their product page URLs with affiliate tracking links for the affiliate.

XML Feeds →

Offer Thumbnails

A simple image that is displayed in the list of offers and inside the offer page. This is not an asset affiliates will use for promotion for the offer, it is only to be displayed in your network.

Hidden Assets

A file that is accessible in your network but is not used by affiliates for promotion. Often used to host files that are used inside the network. Examples include design assets and downloadable files for affiliates.

Other Files

A file that isn't one of the other image or rich media formats. Files will be listed at the bottom of offer view pages in the Offer Files panel only. Creative code will not be generated for these files. An example of other files would be a .zip file with multiple creatives, or an installable application (.exe/.dmg).

Private Creatives

When you are uploading any creative to your network, you can make that creative private. For private creatives, you can generate creative ad tag code as an admin, but the file cannot be accessed by the affiliate. This is so you can generate the code for internal campaigns or selected affiliates, but not have it accessible to all. Private creatives are not viewable by advertisers.

Uploading Creatives

Adding a creative to your network is a very quick process. Go to Offers > Creative Files and click Add Creatives at the top of the list of creatives.

From here, select the offer that you want to add this creative to. The creative has to be associated with an offer, so you must select at least one offer from the menu. If you want to add this creative to more than one offer, select multiple offers by using Ctrl + Click (Cmd + Click for OS X) and clicking on each offer. This adds a creative for each offer selected.

Then select the creative file type in the following dropdown menu. If you are using Text links, HTML, or Email creatives you must name the creative. Banner creatives use the name and dimensions of the uploaded file.

In the next section, you will upload the creative file itself from your computer if adding image or flash banners. Once you select the creatives in your browser and click Open, the upload begins. Once the file has been uploaded successfully, the HasOffers CDN server URL (where the file is located) is displayed.

No further action is needed from you since the creative is added to the offer, where you and affiliates can access it (unless it's set to private).

Note: The upload tool only accepts files up to 100Mb in size. Files larger than this will return an error.

For HTML/Email creatives and text links, you have a Code field where you can paste in the custom HTML code for the creative, and add the {tracking_link} macro in. You can also upload asset files to the HTML/Email creative files like background images or CSS/JS files.

Overwriting Existing Creatives

Let's say you have a banner for an advertiser's campaign, and that advertiser sends you a new version of that banner. To update the creative in HasOffers, you do two things:

  1. Make sure the filename of the new banner is exactly the same as the name of the old banner, including any capitalization.
  2. Add a new creative file as mentioned above, and select "Yes" in the Overwrite File field of the Upload section.

Note: The file type must be the same as the original file. For instance, a GIF file cannot overwrite a JPG file.

To verify the filename, search for the creative in the main Creative Files page. Find the creative entry for your file, and look at the File column. If the new file's name matches what you see there, the filename is correct. If not, change the new file's name to match.

What happens if I forget to select "Overwrite File"?

HasOffers assumes you want to keep both files if you select "No", so it will rename the new file by adding a timestamp to the front. For example, if you have a file already called "campaign728x90.jpg" in your system and upload another creative also named "campaign728x90.jpg", the tool will add the timestamp to the front of the creative file name. So if the new creative was added September 15, 2014 at 1:32pm, the new file will be added as "20140915133255-campaign728x90.jpg".

Affiliates Uploading Creatives

If you choose, you can allow affiliates to upload their own creatives to your network and you can host their display banners.

For an affiliate to add their creatives, they can open the offer in their interface, and scroll down to the bottom of the page. At the top of the Creatives section, click Add Creative and a modal will appear:

Select the creative type from the dropdown. If they want to upload a image or Flash banner, they can click Add Files at the bottom and select which creatives the affiliate wants to upload. Once they have attached the creative, they can confirm the file name and click Add to the modal. After doing so, the creative will be added to their list of creatives. With HTML/Email creatives, they can enter the dimensions, paste in the code for the creative.

CDN / Creative File Charges

All creatives uploaded to your HasOffers will be added to our Content Delivery Network, or CDN for short. A CDN is a distributed network of digitally stored files, and each creative file you upload is duplicated and sent to each server storage facility located around the globe. So if a user views an affiliate's ad banner in Germany, the file from the Irish servers is served to them because the server location in Ireland is closest.

It takes less time to serve the file from the Irish servers than it does to serve the file from the USA or Asia. This ensures that a user gets served creatives extremely fast no matter where they are located. Many large content providers like YouTube and Vimeo use content delivery networks to deliver their videos faster to end-users.

There is no cost to upload the creative file to your HasOffers CDN, but we do incur additional costs for delivering the creative, and this is commonly referred to as "data transfer". We charge per gigabyte transferred (served to users). This cost varies based on the quantity of banner impressions you anticipate on serving along with the size of the files. For pricing, see "Media Usage" on our product feature comparison page. Naturally, Flash files are larger files and incur larger data transfer sizes in comparison to image banners.

To view your account's current media data transfer charges, go to the Company tab and click My Account. A link on the HasOffers Information panel will take you to your current usage.

Notice for EU & Firefox Users

If you are located in the EU and use Firefox, there is a slight issue with the upload tool that stems from the EU cookie compliance where the Flash component gets disrupted and prevents the flash from placing cookies, preventing the upload to take place. If you are located in the EU, you can either:

  • Use another browser besides Firefox for uploading creative files. This is only limited to the Firefox browser.
  • Whitelist the add creatives page for your network inside Firefox, so that cookies can be placed from this URL.

Creative File Server IP Addresses

Our ad servers use the following blocks of IP address. Provide this list to publishers that need to whitelist IP addresses to allow ads on their sites.

108.161.240.0/20
110.232.176.0/22
117.103.183.0/24
117.18.232.0/21
121.189.46.0/23
180.240.184.0/24
192.16.0.0/18
192.229.128.0/17
192.30.0.0/19
194.255.210.64/26
198.7.16.0/20
203.74.4.64/26
213.64.234.0/26
213.65.58.192/26
46.22.64.0/20
5.104.64.0/21
68.232.32.0/20
72.21.80.0/20
88.194.45.128/26
93.184.208.0/20
61.221.181.64/26

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