For the next week, the world’s busiest commercial district will be home to a skyscraper-sized billboard broadcasting a campaign way outside of the norm: one that intends to disrupt the profit-driven advertising of Times Square and fuel a conversation about healing with plant medicines.
The #CelebratePlantMedicine campaign was created by DoubleBlind Magazine in partnership with Honeysuckle Magazine, Musings Magazine, and Rainbo Mushrooms, and makes history as the first-ever psychedelic billboard campaign in the United States.
DoubleBlind Partners With Team That Ran First Cannabis Billboard
According to DoubleBlind co-founder and CEO Shelby Hartman, the team behind the psychedelic print magazine was approached with the concept by Honeysuckle, which ran the first cannabis billboards in Times Square on 4/20 featuring Indigenous cannabis brands. The two teams had already been working together, and for DoubleBlind, the idea seemed like a no-brainer.
“We immediately loved the concept as we both find our advertising culture, especially in a place like New York, to be problematic,” said Hartman. “It feels like everywhere—from our screen to the skies—people are trying to sell us things that may not be in our best interest: unhealthy food, unrealistic beauty ideals. For us, it was a powerful opportunity to reclaim some of that space for a message about healing.”
Campaign Promotes Destigmatization
The idea behind the #CelebratePlantMedicine campaign is to break up the monotony of advertising in Times Square and destigmatize the use of plant medicines by encouraging visitors to the billboard to share their photos and videos—and, if they feel compelled, a note about how psychedelics have led to personal transformation.
For Hartman and the DoubleBlind team, the campaign is all about creating nuance in an emerging industry that can be dominated by potentially problematic narratives.
“More and more people are becoming interested in psychedelics, but we often say at DoubleBlind that while they have incredible healing potential, they’re not for everyone and they’re not going to solve all your problems,” she says.
Bringing Nuance To The Discussion
While much of the discussion around these powerful psychedelic substances focuses on the drugs themselves—plant and fungi medicines including psilocybin mushrooms and ayahuasca, and synthetic drugs like MDMA and LSD—Hartman points out that there are other elements of psychedelic healing that deserve the same kind of attention.
“We must be having conversations about set and setting (the mindset you have when you go into your trip and where you trip), integration (making sense of your trip once it’s over), and sacred reciprocity (the importance of upholding reverence for Indigenous wisdom of plant medicines rather than simply medicalizing psychedelics through the FDA),” she says. “We hope this campaign helps amplify those conversations.”
The #CelebratePlantMedicine billboard began running on the Bird Billboard (located at 719 7th Ave) on Sunday and will continue until October 3 at midnight. Anyone checking out the campaign is encouraged to tag DoubleBlind, Honeysuckle, Musings, and Rainbo on social media. Those who won’t find themselves in New York City this week are also welcome to participate in the campaign using the hashtag.