Beauty Made in Italy Spotlight: Marvis

by Tangie Silva

The origins of Marvis are shrouded in an aura of mystery—making it an iconic and unconventional brand. It’s also hallmarked by distinctive, creative, and ironic packaging. Marvis products are recognized as playing a significant role in the premium oral hygiene market. With unique positioning and its partnership with C.O. Bigelow, Marvis is now expanding its reach in the US and beyond. The brand’s global marketing manager Francesca Galassi explains why Marvis is the premier paste for your pearly whites.

Tell us about how the company came to be created.
The legend of Marvis says it was created by the Italian Count Franco Cella di Rivara but the exact date is still unknown, as is the mysterious identity of the man pictured on the packaging and the origin of the name Marvis. The Ludovico Martelli company, which purchased it in 1996, immediately understood its enormous potential, as a result of its interesting heritage and the powerful bond that it establishes with its consumers. The company refreshed its formula and made the packaging original and highly recognizable, continuing to provide the guarantee of production exclusively “Made in Italy.”

What was the inspiration behind the unique flavors?
The inspiration is in the selection of the perfect ingredients that guarantee the union of two sensations: delight and long-lasting freshness. Every Marvis flavor starts with in-depth research on the best mix between the various ingredients, ensuring a base of long-lasting freshness with which the unexpected essences partner. Each flavor has some reference to Italian tradition like the Amarelli Licorice flavor created in partnership with the Calabrian licorice maker since 1731.

Tell us about the limited-edition Wonders of the World collection.
It is an imaginary journey from the capitals of Western culture, to the most extreme deserts, reaching the end of the known world. A voyage by land and by the sea in which to accept challenges and try new experiences. The limited-edition flavors represent a creative opportunity: they allow us to freely interpret a theme with the sensorial taste and visuals. For this reason, we do not rule out the possibility of working on limited-editions again in the future.

You also have a mouthwash. Any plans to expand the line further?
The mouthwash is the ideal complement to the Marvis oral care experience. Our philosophy is to make the daily routine of oral care enjoyable with excellent products in terms of quality, design, and taste. We are working on several projects that reflect this mantra.

Tell us about the Marvis formula.
Marvis is a traditional paste, made in the Italian way with a concentrated and creamy formula, using traditional processing methods. All Marvis toothpaste is tested for cleaning efficacy by an independent laboratory and all formulas guarantee complete, yet gentle and safe, cleaning. On top of that, for the development of its aromas, Marvis cooperates with the most prestigious fragrance and flavor houses, in which expert perfumers explore the world in search of the finest ingredients for the highest-quality tastes. Each aroma is the result of a complex harmonization of multiple elements of flavor, in a process that exactly mirrors that used for the finest fragrances.

What sets your brand apart from other oral care lines?
Marvis is a unique brand in the oral care landscape because it goes beyond the concept of toothpaste. It represents a true luxury sensorial experience for consumers, making the daily routine of dental care surprising and extraordinary. Pleasure is a constant, that can be found in the formula, in the range of unusual aromas, in the unexpected design, and in the ironic and irreverent communication.

You have a Marvis Collective on your website. How did that come about?
The Marvis Collective is a creative community born to interpret the iconic toothpaste in the digital world, through a unique and distinctive language inspired by the world of art and design. The project was born in 2017 with the official Instagram profile @Marvis_is and is a mix of social content generated by the creativity of different subjects including images created by the Marvis team, user-generated content born from the inventiveness and inspiration of its users, fans, and influencers.


When did the brand connect with C.O. Bigelow?
Ian Ginsberg, the president and 3rd generation owner of C.O. Bigelow had started importing Marvis in the late ’80s and early ’90s from its previous owner, and we continued the partnership when we bought the brand in 1996. As we are both multigenerational families the greatest benefit is our relationship. We both understand the value of family businesses and the immense importance of heritage brands. We share the same values and, in every decision, they make on our behalf, they treat our business as if it’s their own.

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