Famous for his surrealism, La Persistencia de la Memoria (The Persistence of Memory), melting clocks and his trademark moustache, Salvador Dali also made a major contribution to confectionary branding.
He was the designer who created the iconic daisy-shaped logo for the best-selling Chupa Chups lollipops.
Chupa Chups were the idea of Enric Bernat, an entrepreneur from Catalan, who, on hearing an irate mother cursing her child for taking a sweet in and out of their mouth, “saw sweets didn’t suit their main consumers, children. They got their hands sticky and ran into trouble with their parents. So I stuck a sweet on a stick.”
A simple but brilliant solution to an often messy problem.
Unfortunately, his first choice of name didn’t go down as well. He wanted to call his lollipop “GOL”, imagining the spherical sweet was a bit like a football, and the child’s open mouth was a bit like a football net.
Realising his mistake he approached an advertising agency to come up with an alternative. They suggested ‘Chups’ a friendly variation on the Spanish verb “chupar”, meaning “to suck.”
However when the agency went on to create the first ads, they were to inspire a further change. The slogan was “Suck [a] Chups” or in Spanish “chupa Chups”, and as it became more famous, people started to use it as the brand name.
The company followed suit.
Fast forward to 1969, and while the brand is doing reasonably well, Bernat still feels more could be done with the branding and especially the design. He mentions this to a friend over coffee one day – that friend happens to be none other than Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech or more commonly Salvador Dalí.
According to some sources, the painter went to work immediately, working on newspapers lying around in the café. Others don’t mention how and when he started working but all seem to agree that it took him only about an hour to come up with the daisy shape containing the wordmark. He also strongly recommended that, rather than follow conventional wisdom and have the logo on the side of the product, his new design should be placed on top of the lolly, so that it could always be viewed in its entirety.
And why did Dali take on the project?
That again is a matter of some debate, friendship or finances. Given that surrealist poet, André Breton, nicknamed the artist “Avida Dollars”—an anagram of Dalí’s name meaning “eager for dollars” it may have been the latter.
Whatever the reason, Dali’s work was extremely valuable as the identity he created has remained broadly the same since its introduction and has helped deliver over 4 billion sales!
Dali’s other contributions to the world of marketing included a humorous television advertisement for Lanvin chocolates. Filmed in 1968, he is seen biting into a piece of chocolate and exclaiming “Je suis fou du chocolat Lanvin!” (“I’m crazy about Lanvin chocolate!”). The chocolate turns him cross-eyed and his moustache swivels upwards.
In 1969, he helped to design the advertising campaign for the 1969 Eurovision Song Contest and created a large on-stage metal sculpture that stood at the Teatro Real in Madrid.