Sometimes I learn tidbits of history from the most unexpected places.

I listen to a lot of podcasts on a variety of topics, one of which is Lineker & Baker: Behind Closed Doors. It’s generally about English football and broadcasting, but sometimes goes a bit off topic. It’s great fun.

In one episode, during a story about a footballer who likes Chupa Chups lollipops, one of them mentioned that the logo for Chula Chups was created by Salvador Dali.

Salvador Dalí 1939. Portrait photographs of celebrities, Carl Van Vechten photograph collection. Library of Congress LOT 12735, no. 275, LC-USZ62-116608 via Wikimedia Commons.

Most of us know Salvador Dali as an artist and flamboyant personality. But while doing a little research, I was struck by the diversity of his work. His most famous painting is The Persistence of Memory, so we tend to associate him with his melting clocks. But he created that in his late 20s and he lived until he was 84, so he had time to do a lot of other stuff.

From other research I’ve done, artists tend to pick one lane and stick to it. Dali was different. His art includes paintings, sculpture, a novel, autobiographies, film, photography, jewelry, clothing, and furniture. He even designed retail store windows.

And one day in either 1968 or 1969 (I’ve seen both dates used), Dali met his friend Enric Bernat, the owner of Chupa Chups, for coffee. It didn’t take long for Dali to create an image that, with some minor changes, remains in use 50 years later. Chupa Chups sells billions of lollipops every year. This little piece of art is seen billions of times every year.

Chupa Chups for White Day. Author: solsolet_bcn via Wikimedia Commons.

It’s not just the art, but also the placement. The man who branded himself so well, did one little thing that undoubtedly made all the difference.

Dali said to put the logo he created not on the side of the lollipop, but on the top so that it was always fully visible.

That’s art, and that’s branding.