Mission 16-34

Launch, land, impact

Mission 16-34: Launch, Land, Impact is the fourth edition of DCM’s industry-leading Building Box Office Brands series. Created in partnership with independent insight and strategy agency Differentology, the study explores the different roles that AV media play in the lives of young people and how cinema helps brands launch and land their messages with impact.

The 16-34 audience

The challenge

feel hounded by advertising
have installed an adblocker
are sceptical of any brands they don’t know

The mission

Kantar Millward Brown’s AdReaction study found that cinema is the ad format that 16-34s are most positive towards so DCM’s mission was to better understand this audience, their AV habits and the implications for brands

What we found

affinity with
Love quality
Like ads in
the right

Launch your campaign with cinema

Cinema delivers cultural moments

The exclusive theatrical window that has been maintained in UK cinemas means that the big screen is still able to deliver big cultural moments that brands can take advantage of. Over half of 16-34s agree that they “don’t like missing out on things other people are talking about” so they’re quick to see the latest blockbusters to ensure they can be part of the wider conversation. This is perfect for brands looking to launch campaigns and reach an engaged, young audience.

Growing audience
+8% YOY
2019 16-34 Forecast Admissions1
Big draw every week
Average weekly 16-34 admissions1
Don’t want to miss out
See a film in its opening 2 weeks2

Sources: 1. DCM Planner, industry admissions. 2. FAME 2017

Land your message in the best environment

Cinema occupies a unique position within AV

The research shows that different AV channels are chosen either with ‘active intent’ or ‘inactive intent’ with some platforms delivering both at different times. Cinema occupies a unique position within the AV mix as the only full ‘active’ channel – it’s a destination experience where 16-34s have actively planned to pay attention. This makes cinema the best environment for brands to land their campaigns – with an audience that is engaged and attentive.

One thousand 16-34s were asked to select descriptions they most associated with viewing AV content. These are the top three per channel…

Live TV

  • Fill time 30%
  • Background viewing 26%
  • Comforting 18%


  • Fill time 43%
  • Helps me escape 28%
  • Binge viewing 27%


  • Shared experience 37%
  • High attention 34%
  • Quality content 31%


  • Binge viewing 27%
  • Fill time 25%
  • Quality content 19%

Social video

  • Fill time 38%
  • Low attention 27%
  • Spontaneous 20%

Brands advertising in cinema benefit from a halo effect

Respondents were asked to rank from 1-5 the different AV platforms as ‘premium’ and ‘trustworthy’ with cinema ranking first most often across both measures. Brands advertising in cinema also benefit from a halo effect with cinema ads being ranked first at making 16-34s feel most positive towards a brand.

Premium experience

  • Cinema - 48%
  • Live TV - 17%
  • YouTube - 15%
  • Social media - 11%
  • BVOD - 9%

Trustworthy ads

  • Cinema - 35%
  • Live TV - 31%
  • YouTube - 15%
  • Social media - 10%
  • BVOD - 9%

Brand positivity

  • Cinema - 30%
  • Live TV - 25%
  • YouTube - 20%
  • Social media - 17%
  • BVOD - 8%

Impact your audience

Differentology’s meta-analysis in Vol IV, focusing on 16-34s, has reinforced these results demonstrating that cinema’s highly attentive and emotionally engaged audience delivers significant uplifts for brands including:

‘Better impression’
Rational brand perceptions
Emotional brand perceptions

Base: 12 campaigns. 2,750 16-34s exposed to cinema; 1,402 16-34s not exposed to cinema.

Top ten 2024 16-34 films

Film Admissions TVRS*
Joker: Folie à Deux 4.4m 19
Untitled Deadpool Movie 3.4m 16
Despicable Me 4 5.6m 11
Inside Out 2 5m 10
Mufasa: The Lion King 3.7m 9
Sonic the Hedgehog 3 3.2m 9
Furiosa 2.1m 9
Dune: Part Two 2.6m 8
Wicked 4m 8
Untitled Venom Sequel 1.7m 7

Source: DCM, January 2024. Based on industry admissions forecasts and comparative film profiles