I am fascinated by marketing and how it is filtered through culture. This morning, I clicked through to a news story from Express India, for which RSS feed I subscribe. A banner ad for Indian matrimonial site Shaadi.com piqued my interest, because of its emphasis on matchmaking. There are similar services in the U.S., but they—even match.com—focus on dating or personal ads.
Shaadi.com’s marketing pitch is about finding the right match, utilizing the company’s eMatchmaker technology. The service’s focus isn’t about dating, but I would be shocked if the technology turned out to be dramatically different from other “singles” services.
Matchmaking is how my wife and I met. But my purpose today isn’t to espouse the merits of matchmaking but to look at how one Indian singles service markets itself as a matchmaking and matrimonial service. Matchmaking is a longstanding tradition in India. Shaadi.com’s simple tagline appeals: “Contact your life partner, FREE!”
Still, I’ve got to ask, could a computer really do better matchmaking than a human being? My answer is no.
Even if I were single, I wouldn’t use a personals or dating site. And I discourage anyone else from using such services. There are just too many hook-ups, and those typically go nowhere after the sex is done.
I must admit that I occasionally look at online personals, but not because I’m looking to hook up with anyone; I love my wife. My fascination with people is the draw, same as when I hang out at the coffee shop to watch human interaction. Tip: Most people are not as unique individuals as they think. But that’s topic for another post.
Photo Credit: Thomas Guignard