Bruce Chambers

Ad Guy

Bruce began his career writing radio commercials for stations in Red Deer, Calgary and Toronto. Then in-house at a national department store, and then ad agencies with campaigns for major national and regional clients. For the past couple of decades, he's been a freelance creative director and copywriter for agencies in Calgary and Victoria. He began his weekly Ad Guy columns on CBC Radio in 2003.

Latest from Bruce Chambers


Ads reveal what marketers think Canadians value as nation turns 150

We’re still several months away from Canada’s 150th birthday on July 1. But as CBC Ad Guy Bruce Chambers points out, marketers are already running ads wishing us a happy birthday, and tapping into national pride.

How companies cash in on Chinese New Year

This year, Chinese or Lunar New Year falls on January 28th. Up to 3 billion journeys will be made, most of them home for a reunion. An opportunity for marketers.

Hygge is Danish for 'cozy,' ad-speak for 'dollars'

'Hygge' is defined as 'a quality of coziness and conviviality that engenders a feeling of well-being.' And to CBC Ad Guy Bruce Chambers, hygge has become one of the hottest trends in marketing.

Confusing Christmas ads? They're one way to stand out

If you find Christmas ads too syrupy sweet or jarringly hard sell, check out these ads designed to confuse or surprise.

Noticed changes in how your cereal is advertised? Blame millennials

What you're eating for breakfast, and whether you're eating breakfast at all, might suggest how old you are. Millenials don't eat breakfast the way previous generations have, and that's changing how breakfast is advertised.

Is Day of the Dead the next Halloween for marketers?

According to CBC's Ad Guy, the Day of the Dead holiday is having an increasing influence on U.S. Halloween celebrations, thanks to a growing Latino population and marketers eager to squeeze ever more retail sales out of late October.

5 ads that take on sexual assault and consent

Comments about groping women have made issues of consent and crime reporting front and centre in the U.S. election. CBC Ad Guy Bruce Chambers brings us several recent ads designed to raise awareness of assault and harassment, increase reporting and clarify what constitutes consent.

A billboard that kills mosquitoes and other cutting-edge signs

Some would call billboards an annoyance. But what about one that saves lives? Advertisers are turning to signs that enhance city dwellers' lives, from Zika-fighting billboards to a sign that creates drinking water.

5 of the worst ads in the world, according to viewer complaints

When we see ads that annoy or offend us, most of us simply complain to whoever's nearby. But according to CBC Ad Guy Bruce Chambers, a tiny minority complains to advertising regulators, who are empowered to take action against such ads. These are some of the most complained-about ads of the past year.

Sex sells... but not the way you think

We've all heard that sex sells. But what it actually sells is a very small range of products. And in some cases, it sells less than traditional ads. So why is it still used so frequently? Our Ad Guy finds out.