This week, I saw the new dramedy, “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” starring a pleasantly wrinkled cast including Bill Nighy, Judi Dench and Maggie Smith. (Wonderful flick, by the way. It’ll remind you of the 1985 movie “Cocoon,” with the late Don Ameche and Jessica Tandy, among other actors no longer with us.)
Afterward, over frappuccinos consumed way too late at night, I commented to my friends that I found it surprisingly refreshing to see a movie with balding leading men and post-menopausal starlets. As a newly eligible candidate for AARP membership, I can identify with these characters!
“Expect to see more,” one wise pal responded. “Filmmakers will be catering to the baby boomers.”
I expect she’s right. Boomers make up 26 percent of our population, and every day for the next 19 years, 10,000 of them will celebrate their 65th birthdays. They’re making seniors the fastest-growing segment of our country.
Moviemakers know their audiences, and if they want to sell tickets, they’ll make films for them. Audience is something I think about every week when I write my gardening column for the Tampa Bay Times. I know my newspaper readers are mostly female and older — about 45 and up. My gardening blog tends to skew the opposite way age-wise, about 55 and younger. Here in Florida, both groups include lots of transplants from up North who have lots to learn about gardening in our hugely challenging environment.
I have all of these people in mind when I write about gardening.
Do you know who your audience is? Are you playing to the crowd while delivering a message that might also resonate with the folks on your fringes? I’m not a senior yet — I’m not balding, post-menopausal, or thinking about outsourcing my retirement to India, like the characters in “Marigold Hotel.” But I sure enjoyed that movie.
And now, I’ll be looking for the book.