Former JWT ECDs Priya Pardiwalla & Steve Mathias launch new venture ‘Steve Priya’

They are one of the last few creative duos who have been partners for over 20 years. Based in Mumbai, the creative and content agency has already signed on some accounts and will be announcing the wins shortly

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Steve Priya

Priya Pardiwalla, Steve Mathias

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Delhi: Priya Pardiwalla and Steve Mathias, former Executive Creative Directors at Wunderman Thompson have started their own creative and content agency called ‘Steve Priya’ with their first office in Mumbai.  

The duo have already signed on some accounts and will be announcing the wins shortly.

It was Josy Paul who first paired Pardiwalla and Mathias together at Brand David. After spending 6 years, the duo moved to JWT which became Wunderman Thompson and is now VML. 

Talking about the reason behind the name of their new agency,  Pardiwalla and Mathias, said, “While we had about 4-5 names, we shortlisted it down to 2. And in the end, we went with neither. From our own experience and after talking to many of our clients, we realised that everyone struggles with the name of the agency, especially the newer ones, but what clients do remember are the people. It’s not just a brand name. We’re putting our neck and reputation on the line.”

With a showcase of over 230 commercials,  Pardiwalla and Mathias have created campaigns including the IPL ad Jumping Japang with Farah Khan, someone who never followed cricket, but choreographed steps that made the entire nation dance. 

They cast an old couple for Goodknight at a time when the category norm was using kids. 

They used Marathi Rap for their Goldilocks campaign 3 years before Gully Boy hit the screens. 

They launched the new Škoda philosophy in India with a woman wedding planner as the protagonist. 

They got two ancient warriors fighting with Lollipops instead of ‘gadaas’ for Jolly Rancher’s recent Two Much Lollipop and more.

Pardiwalla and Mathias, said, “For us, the starting point for creating any advertising is that ‘No one. Absolutely no one is interested in watching an ad’. That’s probably why people hit that skip button with a vengeance. We’re looking for clients and brands who are seeking solid brand-building work through a fresh and unexpected route. Not tried, tested and retested. There’s no point in discovering a place that's already crowded. Commercials especially have become terribly formulaic. The only guys who are benefitting from them are YouTube, Spotify and others who charge you to make it ad-free!”