Digital marketers would be envious of Chetan Bhagat today. The popular author’s latest novel ‘Half Girlfriend’ is trending at the top of India Twitter trends, following a full page ad in the morning newspaper put out by e-tailing giant Flipkart that asked readers to pre-order the book.
Set for an October release, Half Girlfriend revolves around Madhav, a boy from Bihar whose English is not so good and Riya, a girl from Delhi who speaks good English. Madhav wanted a relationship with Riya, while she just wanted friendship with him. Riya suggests a compromise in which she agrees to be his ‘half girlfriend’.
The story is as seen in the video trailer posted at Flipkart and also shared by Bhagat on his Facebook and Twitter pages. Following a crashed site, he posted the trailer and the first chapter on social media. The 280-paged English paperback is priced at Rs. 149 after a 15% exclusive discount at Flipkart.
They told me nobody cares about books. Big day, not only for me, but also for Indian publishing. Front pg TOI today. pic.twitter.com/lxlC0DmdSH
— Chetan Bhagat (@chetan_bhagat) August 5, 2014
Apart from the full-page ad in the most popular daily, there seems to be no other promotion other than Bhagat’s social media assets. The clever ad leaves a lot to imagination, leaving many readers to wonder what defines a ‘half girlfriend’. Understandably, readers of the print ad took to Twitter to come up with their own definitions of the term, and what Riya would do/would not do as Madhav’s half girlfriend.
Bhagat, despite being the author of many bestsellers like ‘Five Point Someone’, ‘The 3 Mistakes of my life’, ‘2 States’, etc. is loved and loathed in equal measure. A popular columnist in the Times Of India, he almost always makes headlines with his controversial statements on happenings in the country and outside.
His ‘Five Point Someone’ was adapted for the Bollywood blockbuster ‘3 Idiots’ starring Aamir Khan and Kareena Kapoor. ‘2 States’ was made into a movie starring young actors, Alia Bhatt and Arjun Kapoor. Bhagat also wrote the screenplay for the recent Salman Khan starrer ‘Kick’ which reportedly gave brain damage to many film critics!
Love him or hate him, but there is no running away from him. Here’s a compilation of interesting tweets that reflect the voice of the Twitterati of India on ‘#HalfGirlfriend’:
Fancy name for Friendzone by Chetan Bhagat. #HalfGirlfriend
— AK (@Chandlock) August 5, 2014
Heard on the metro today.. “Will you be my half-girlfriend?” *SLAP*
— The UnReal Times (@TheUnRealTimes) August 5, 2014
Half Girlfriend is the story of Parthiv Patel’s Girlfriend. — TweetErrant (@TweetErrant) August 5, 2014
— Prateek Shah (@PrateekShah) August 5, 2014
And this one sums it up for us:
Chetan Bhagat has done Half Publicity. The other half of the publicity will be done by you. — Keh Ke Peheno (@coolfunnytshirt) August 5, 2014