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

Analysis

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.
Analysis

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.
Analysis

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.
Analysis

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.
Analysis

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.
Analysis

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.
Analysis

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.
Analysis

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.
Analysis

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.
Analysis

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.
Analysis

Set phasers for sell: 8 far out Star Trek-themed ads

The world was introduced to the Star Trek universe 50 years ago. The show initially ran for three seasons, but its legacy has lasted well past that...including in the world of advertising.
Analysis

How Canadian advertisers are cashing in on Trump and Brexit

After the U.K. voted to leave the European Union, there was a huge spike in Google searches for "moving to Canada". This followed a similar trend in the U.S. when Donald Trump's candidacy started to gain momentum. Ad Guy Bruce Chambers says marketers are eager to cash in on all this newfound interest in Canada.
Analysis

He was the Greatest for advertising as well

The world knew Muhammad Ali as a boxer, activist, pacifist and entertainer. As CBC Ad Guy Bruce Chambers remembers, he was also a major figure in product endorsement.
Analysis

The hazy world of vaping ads

In April, Britain's Royal College of Physicians reported that the hazards from e-cigarettes are likely less than the harms from smoking tobacco. As CBC Ad Guy Bruce Chambers points out, such findings fan the flames of marketing on both sides of the issue.
Analysis

The world's oldest spokesperson, and why he's not real

According to our ad expert, neither Bill Cosby nor Jared Fogle will ever work as product spokespeople again. Bruce Chambers brings us the stories of other high-profile product spokespeople, and explains why some of them just disappeared.