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Former JWT Executive Creative Directors Priya Pardiwalla and Steve Mathias launch new agency: Steve Priya

MUMBAI, INDIA — 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.

Talking about the reason behind the name of their new agency, Priya and Steve said, “While we had about four to five names, we shortlisted it down to two. And in the end, we went with neither. From our own experience and after talking to many of our clients, we realized 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.”

The agency is dedicated to fostering creativity and innovation across every level, aiming to achieve several key objectives. Firstly, it strives to craft communication that not only promotes brands but also captivates audiences, building engagement akin to the content people eagerly consume. Additionally, it endeavors to create compelling and original screenplays for both feature films and series, aiming to inspire and entertain viewers with unpredictable narratives.


The agency is committed to nurturing its employees’ growth, emphasizing a culture where talent flourishes unrestricted by hierarchy or seniority. It prioritizes building relationships with clients based on trust and transparency, enabling a collaborative partnership. The agency’s ethos is encapsulated in the term “Creative Adventures,” reflecting the belief that brand-building is a dynamic journey filled with exciting possibilities and unexplored territories.

J Walter Thompson founds new agency Steve Priya insert

Priya and Steve continued, “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’re seeking solid brand building work through a fresh and unexpected route. Not tried, tested and retested. There’s no point 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!”

They are one of the last few creative teams who have been partners for over 20 years. It was Josy Paul who first paired Priya and Steve together at Brand David. After spending six years building challenger brands, the duo moved to JWT which became Wunderman Thompson and is now VML.

For over 16 years at JWT, the duo created award-winning, engaging, market moving communication across categories from Automobiles to FMCG, Media, Home Décor, Finance, Beauty and Skincare to name a few.

With a showcase of over 230 commercials, Steve Priya have created memorable 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 three 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.

The duo have already signed accounts that they will be announcing in the following months.

Partner with adobo Magazine

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