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Babble ➶ [Reading] ➸ Babble By Charles Saatchi ➫ – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk From 'The hideousness of the art world' 'Being thick is no obstacle to being a successful artist' and 'Painting is a blind man's obsession'; to 'Socialising for party duds' 'Love may be blind but marr From 'The hideousness of the art world' 'Being thick is no obstacle to being a successful artist' and 'Painting is a blind man's obsession'; to 'Socialising for party duds' 'Love may be blind but marriage is an eye opener' and 'If it can't be explained by science try a seance'.

10 thoughts on “Babble

  1. Graham Monkman Graham Monkman says:

    Charles Saatchi was once reported to have claimed that writing ads was the only literary skill he possessed If that was the case he must have been unaware of his capacity to write a fresh provocative and very readable book – a talent which is now revealed in his collection of essays BabbleIn Babble Saatchi does not talk a great deal about advertising which is perhaps surprising in the light of his iconic status in the business Most of the book is a potpourri of his reflections on people and life in general – including some intriguing information and opinions on such diverse subjects as religion war politicians entrepreneurs marriage divorce spoiling children self awareness phobias depression smoking psychiatrists contemporary clichés celebrities movies art music the theatre and literature His background as a highly effective copywriter is clearly evident from his colourful and reader friendly style There is a most welcome absence of the pretentious words and phraseology which infests so much 21st century writingDavid Ogilvy believed the ualities of a successful copywriter to be‘an obsessive curiosity about products people and advertising – a sense of humour –and a habit of hard work’In Babble Charles Saatchi – one of the most successful copywriters ever offers convincing proof that the observation is an accurate one The advertising legend – selected by the BBC as one of the 60 ‘New Elizabethans’who have most influenced the past 60 years in Britain displays a curiosity about people which is perceptive penetrating and challenging However he takes neither himself or his views over seriously and a uirky sense of humour runs through all of the essays contained in this very entertaining bookThe one chapter devoted entirely to advertising is titled Advertising is easy money for school dropouts Charles left school at 17 with two GCSE passes a view later contradicted when he talks about how ‘brutally hard’he and his brother worked when building their agency – which endorses the last uality identified by OgilvyAlthough he has been responsible for a lot of very effective and much admired creative workCharles Saatchi has never mentioned any personal advertising ‘philosophies’ – unlike other creative giants who formed their own agencies such as David Ogilvy Mary Wells Bill Bernbach and Leo Burnett The closest he ever came to it was probably when he defined advertisingas essentially a‘simple business’In his biography of the Saatchi brothers The Brothers Hutchinson 1988 Ivan Fallon states that Charles had ‘no interest in philosophising about advertisements replying impatiently toany such attempt “Yeah Yeah you keep your philosophy just tell me what you are trying to say”Fallon also wrote that ‘his extraordinary ability to see through the jargon and the complexitywhich inevitably creeps into any industry has been one of the great strengths behind Saatchi’Philosophies aside the chapter on advertising embraces plenty of other viewpoints and information which will be of interest to anybody in advertising particularly creatives It also contains valuabletips for anybody hoping to break into the business Saatchi tells us how he got started himself and includes some amusing recollections of his early days as a copywriter with Collett Dickenson Pearce in London He refers to CDP as the cleverest agency in the world at the time specialising in ads that had the public looking forward to commercial breaks His thoughts on why Saatchi and Saatchi was so successful includes the belief that ‘we got blindingly lucky to get it to grow to be the biggest in the world’He is modest about his personal contribution to the spectacular growth of the Saatchi agency claiming that‘the only skill I possessed was to string together a few decent ideas a year and occasionally these advertisements appeared to work uite well for our clients’ Another ingredient in the success formula of the Saatchi agency is identified as a single minded devotion to keeping clients happy with successful campaigns‘We were maniacally driven to impress our clientele and if all other businesses cared as muchabout providing satisfaction as ad agencies we would have no need for automated Customer Servicehelplines everywhere’ One can only guess at his views on the increasing emphasis on mobile search and social media He tells us that his technical skills are restricted to the ability to use a vintage Nokia and to move his finger towards Google which is just as well as his first wife claims she only ever saw him reading comics A lot of the material in the book has been sourced from Internet sites all of which are credited in the back pages He is however sufficiently technically savvy to be aware of the power of modern technology to bypass commercial breaks which he sees as interminably long too freuent excessively loud andfull of corny ads But on the subject of corny ads it is interesting that the Saatchi clients he most respected were Procter and Gamble and Mars – two advertising accounts which have never had any use for the extreme creative work for which his agency was famous He describes advertising as a‘lovely life full of interesting people and a thrill a minute atmosphere’His advice to people hoping to get into the business is not to give up until they geta foot in the door at a top twenty ad agency in London or New YorkIn addition to his achievements in advertising Charles Saatchi also has the distinction of buildingone of the largest collections of modern art in the world – housed in a 70000 suare foot gallery in London So understandably the subject of modern art comes up freuently A lot of paintings – manyof them lesser known works – enhance the book So if you share the passion of the author for both art and advertising the book offers particularly good valueSaatchi believes there is a significant lack of sincerity and sensitivity amongst people in the art world – including the affluent buyers whom he suggests treat expensive paintingsas a highly visible symbols of their wealth and statusHe is also uestions the knowledge and artistic awareness of critics and backs up his reservations with the revelation that the Matisse painting Le Bateau hung upside down for 47 days in the Museum of Modern Art in NewYork Apparently the mistake was not spotted by the entire curatorial staff of the Museum or by 284 art critics In his thoughts on critics he uotes the Finnish composer Sibelius who once observed that ‘thereis no city in the world where they have erected a monument to a critic’He also slams museums for charging admission to art shows particularly for school parties – reflecting his devotion to fine artand to making it as accessible to as many people as possibleIn addition to his views on the modern art world – which he describes as‘hideous’ he also describes his many visits to the studios of some of the greats including Andy Warhol Julian Schnabel and Lucian FreudBabble can be enjoyed by a lot of people apart from the advertising community and if you happen to work in the latter on the creative side the book is worth the money for one anecdote alone Saatchi recalls the fable of a blind man seated on a busy city pavement with the cardboard sign ‘Blind – Please Help’ a message which was generating very few contributions to his collection plate Noticing this an advertising writer reversed the sign and rewrote the copy to read ‘It is a beautiful day You can see it I cannot’ The collection plate was soon overflowing If you are ever asked to explain what creative copywriting is all about I reckon that little story says it all It is also a useful yardstick to keep at the back of your mind when you are evaluating your own workThe front cover of Babble is somewhat confronting It shows the inside of the human mouth witha full on view of the throat tongue and teeth Some may find it offensive but whatever your reactionit is impossible to either ignore or forget Just like a typical Saatchi ad

  2. Sarah Sarah says:

    Mostly entertaining ramblings each like a newspaper column or a blog post Whiled away a few lunchtimes in its company ; best in small doses

  3. Harriet Caldwell Harriet Caldwell says:

    A book with humour a uick read Some interesting elements

  4. Halil Kaya Halil Kaya says:

    Good for laughs

  5. Mon See Mon See says:

    I'm not really keen into reading technical Graphic Design and Advertising books because it really doesn't teach me anything nor help me understand certain things of what being a Designer in popular culture is truly about I wanted to know about the correlation of design and popular culture and this is what this book has shown me Great read if you want that WTF factor

  6. Mugren Ohaly Mugren Ohaly says:

    You might not agree with his opinions but he makes some good arguments A bit cheesy

  7. Dizar Angel Dizar Angel says:

    Hilarity aplenty the rambling of a rich old man

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