As you must have realized by now, many of your (non)fans have been left scratching their heads by your decision to appear in the Shaadi.com adverts. Tempting though it is, this post is not about conjecturing why you are fronting a service that appears to be completely orthogonal to your public persona.
This is about why you should ditch Shaadi.com altogether and consider endorsing the new matchmaking upstart, iBluebottle. Here are 5 good reasons :
Firstly, your celebrity appeal is totally wasted on Shaadi. As you say in the TV commercial ‘bees lakh’ people seem to have already used their services. Your endorsement is unlikely to gain Shaadi new members – someone who knows about you has already heard about Shaadi and anyone who hasn’t, is hardly going to be swayed by ‘Chetan Bhagat, Author’ as you are so modestly introduced in the ad. On the other hand iBluebottle is a new startup, proverbially tilting at the big matrimonial giants and needs all the publicity it can get. Many in our target demographic care about your opinion.
Secondly, your endorsement can really help iBluebottle’s stated aim of actively discouraging caste/community based matchmaking. Unlike some of the matrimonial sites which seem to spawn ever more divisive versions of “MyCasteMatrimony.com”, we are trying to promote a casteless society. We actually write to our members who specify a preferred caste for their matches and encourage them to only consider attributes that a person has control over. Of course many are impervious to our exhortations but we have been able to convince quite a few. Surely if you believe in the underlying thesis of your book “Two States”, it makes eminent sense for you to back iBluebottle.
Thirdly, iBluebottle fits the mould of your “What Young India Wants” meme. We haven’t read the book but it is a safe bet that you didn’t include ‘a better platform to find a compatible match’ in the wish list. And who is to say that such is not one of the most pressing needs of the modern Indian professional? We believe we are introducing new, innovative features to make the process of finding a match more pleasant and delightful than a soulless, assembly-line one which it has become.
The fourth reason has to do with your conviction about the service you are promoting. Indulge us for a moment and imagine that you weren’t lucky enough to find your wife the way you did and were considering using online matchmaking websites. Given your educational and professional background, we would like to posit that you would rather sign up with iBluebottle than with Shaadi. This flows from our belief that compatibility between life-partners owes much to similar sophistication levels than anything else, except maybe in Bollywood.
Lastly, we at iBluebottle have always thought that you would make a great brand ambassador for us. We wanted to approach you but kept waiting till we became big enough to afford you (or a TV commercial). Admittedly, we also considered the dubious theory of brotherly equivalence – ‘Chetan nahin to Ketan sahi’ but ultimately decided against approaching your brother, Ketan Bhagat.
So Chetan, there you have it. Tis the season of letters and we reckoned “A letter from a Young Indian Startup” might catch your eye. Over to you.