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Participant Media Social Action Campaign For 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' Finds Adults 50+ Are Eager To Help Millenials Succeed

LOS ANGELES (September 18, 2012) -- Adults 50 and older want to help younger generations succeed and are willing to offer their time and expertise to make it happen, according to a new research study sponsored by Encore.org (formerly Civic Ventures) and Participant Media, the entertainment company known for such socially-relevant films as An Inconvenient Truth, Food, Inc. and Waiting for “Superman.” “The Marigold Effect” study was part of the Social Action campaign for the Fox Searchlight-Participant film, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, releasing today on Blu-ray Disc, DVD and Movies On Demand from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, about a group of British retirees whose lives are transformed when they move unwittingly to a run-down hotel in India.

An online survey of 1,015 Americans ages 50 and older, conducted August 3-6, 2012 by Penn Schoen Berland, explored whether concerns about a secure retirement were shredding the assumption of intergenerational solidarity between older and younger generations, as a tough economy pushes both groups to the margins.

“There’s been much hand-wringing about how older adults, clinging to a tenuous position in the labor market, may be crowding out opportunities for young people – those who trying to get their foot in the door for the first time, “ said Marc Freedman, founder and CEO of Encore.org and author of The Big Shift: Navigating the New Stage Beyond Midlife.  “What we found was that older adults resoundingly reject the premise of an intergenerational war over scarce jobs, and are willing to give of their time and experience, sometimes at the expense of their own economic security, to improve the prospects of those just coming up.”

Chad Boettcher, Executive Vice President of Social Action & Advocacy at Participant Media, said “This is what we mean by ‘The Marigold Effect’-- older individuals benefitting by applying their experience and wisdom to help younger people through tough times just like Judi Dench’s character in the film does when she takes a job training young Indian workers in telephone sales. Measuring the impact of our films is an integral part of the work we do at Participant and we’ve found here as in our previous survey for Food,Inc. that people are willing to change their behavior in order to elicit positive change.”

Key findings from “The Marigold Effect” survey include:

Older adults want to help younger generations succeed and are willing to give of their time to make that possible. ·      

  • Over half of older Americans want to do more to have a positive effect on younger generations.        
  • 65% have an interest in mentoring a young adult, like someone just starting their career or pursuing higher education.        
  • Nearly half (46%) see professional mentoring as the best way their generation can help in the current job crisis.
  • 84% of those respondents who were currently working said they would be willing to help mentor young adults interested in their professional path, even if it cut into their free time.      
  • 68% said they would be very (20%) or somewhat (48%) willing to cut back their hours, take lower pay or retire earlier if they felt it would help younger generations find work.

Older adults are sympathetic to the employment challenges for younger job seekers. But they don’t believe that their generation is responsible for the younger generation’s difficulties finding jobs because they are staying in the workforce rather than retiring.        

  • 87% say it’s more difficult for a young adult to find a job today than it was for them when they were young.      
  • Just 27% of those currently working think that they are taking away jobs from younger people by not retiring.

For the full “Marigold Effect” research report, go to www.encore.org/research. # # #

About Encore.Org (www.encore.org)

Encore.org (formerly Civic Ventures) is a nonprofit organization building a movement to make it easier for millions of people to pursue “encore careers” – second acts for the greater good.

About Participant Media (www.participantmedia.com)

Participant Media is an entertainment company that focuses on documentary and non-documentary feature films, television, publishing and digital content about the real issues that shape our lives. For each of its projects, Participantcreates social action and advocacy programs to transform the impact of the media experience into individual and community action. Participant’s online Social Action Network is TakePart (takepart.com). Founded by Chairman Jeff Skoll in 2004, Jim Berk serves as CEO. Participant's films include The Kite Runner, Charlie Wilson's War, An Inconvenient Truth, Good Night, and Good Luck, The Visitor, Food, Inc., The Cove, The Crazies, Countdown to Zero, Waiting for "Superman,” Fair Game, PAGE ONE: Inside The New York Times, The Help, Contagion, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Lincoln and Promised Land.

About Penn Schoen Berland (www.psbresearch.com)

Penn Schoen Berland, a unit of the WPP Group (NASDAQ: WPPGY), is a global research-based consultancy with over 30 years of experience that specializes in messaging and communications strategy for blue-chip political, corporate, nonprofit and entertainment clients.

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Participant MediaAbout Participant Media

Founded in 2004 by Jeff Skoll, Participant Media’s (www.participantmedia.com) content combines the power of a good story well told with opportunities for real world impact and awareness around the most pressing global issues of our time. As an industry content leader, Participant annually produces up to six narrative feature films, five documentary films, three episodic television series, and more than 30 hours of digital short form programming, through its digital subsidiary SoulPancake—all aimed at entertainment that inspires social awareness and engaging audiences to participate in positive social change. Participant’s content and social impact mandate speaks directly to the rise of today’s “conscious consumer,” representing over 2 billion consumers who are compelled to make impactful content a priority focus. Through its worldwide network of traditional and digital distribution, aligned with partnerships with key non-profit and NGO organizations, Participant is positioned uniquely within the industry to engage a rapidly growing audience while bringing global awareness and action to today’s most vital issues.

Participant’s more than 100 films, including Spotlight, Contagion, Lincoln, The Help, He Named Me Malala, The Look of Silence, CITIZENFOUR, Food, Inc. and An Inconvenient Truth, have collectively earned 73 Academy Award® nominations and 18 wins, including Best Picture for Green Book and Spotlight and Best Foreign Language Film for Roma and A Fantastic Woman. Participant’s digital entertainment division, SoulPancake (www.soulpancake.com), is an award-winning provider of thought-provoking, joyful, and uplifting digital content including such widely popular series as Kid President and The Science of Happiness and reaches an audience of nearly 9 million fans. Follow Participant Media on Twitter and on Facebook and Instagram. Follow SoulPancake on Twitter and on Facebook and Instagram.


Participant Media became a Certified B Corporation in 2018. B Corps are a new type of company that uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. B Corp certification is to business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic certification is to milk.