Salvador Dalí and His Eccentric World of Advertisements

Zuzanna Stańska 16 November 2023 min Read

Salvador Dalí was celebrated not only for his artistic genius but also for his flair in monetizing it. Some might argue that his wife, Gala, had a keener eye for business, with Dalí following her lead—nevertheless, Dalí is now known for starring in various ads and commercials. Curious about his debut as an actor? Then keep on reading!

In 1939, André Breton, the esteemed founder of the Surrealist movement, playfully christened Dalí with the moniker “Avida Dollars.” The title, a clever anagram of “Salvador Dalí” and a wordplay of the French expression avide à dollars (“eager for dollars”), alludes to his appetite for wealth.

Dalí with his pet ocelot and the MONEY.
Salvador Dalí with his pet ocelot photographed by Philippe Halsman, 1965. Tumblr.

Well, we don’t want to sound judgmental here. The gist is that the iconic Salvador Dalí profited from television advertisements. He was featured across a diverse clientele: in brand names such as Lanvin chocolates and unexpected picks like Alka-Seltzer and Veterano brandy. Quite fascinating, isn’t it? The connection between Dalí and Alka-Seltzer is exceptionally surreal, adding another layer to the artist’s already eccentric legacy. Below are some examples of those ads.



Widely aware of advertising and its impact, Salvador Dalí harnessed the former in favor of both his personal image and art. The 1960s and 1970s saw his inception into television commercials. Concurrently, Dalí became the face of many products, from automobiles and airlines to pharmaceuticals, chocolates, and spirits. He also became known for his work with Braniff International, Iberia, Nissan, Chocolat Lanvin, Alka Seltzer, and Osborne.

As a result, Dalí’s influence extended far beyond the canvas into the advertising realm. There, his eccentric artist persona found an expression. As he lent his distinctive presence to commercials for those brands, Dalí surprised the world with his collaborations, which exhibited his art’s versatility and adaptability. These advertisements continue to offer a captivating glimpse into the blend of surreal art and commerce. On the other hand, studying this curious intersection of aesthetics and marketing will contribute to a more holistic appreciation of one of the leading 20th-century artists.

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