‘Say High’: Gotham’s new campaign aims to celebrate and destigmatise cannabis

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New York’s leading cannabis dispensary, Gotham, is rolling out (forgive the unintended pun) a new campaign that hopes to redefine how we think of marijuana today.

Hitting street and subway posters plus digital screens this week, the ads are centred around how it greets customers at its flagship store in Lower Manhattan’s East Village. ‘Say High’ is the message plastered across the series of posters, which feature photography by up-and-coming artist Eddie Salinas, chosen for his “unjaded approach was the mindset we needed to create something new and fresh”. Shot at iconic locations around Gotham’s store on 3rd and Bowery, the stylish images feature diverse models, sometimes enjoying a toke around New York City, but more often than not, just finding their way around the city streets, clad in cool attire (thanks to the keen eye of stylist Bruce Estevez).

The gorgeous typography accompanying the photography is from Gotham’s much-admired clean and impactful identity, with GothamDiatype Bold spelling out the titles and WiseType’s delicate serif forms of WT Kormelink adding to the understated glamour. And the brand’s soft palette underscores the entire look and feel, bringing a dash of modern sophistication.

Of course, the campaign is what we’ve come to expect from Gotham, a business founded by American entrepreneur Joanne Wilson of Gotham Gal, the name for her longtime blog and investment firm. It was a long-deferred dream, finally realised as she told FastCompany how she’d had the idea for a store since she was 21.

But it wasn’t until 2016 that her blog hinted at a growing interest in cannabis and the negative narrative surrounding weed. A post titled What’s ripe for change? was perhaps the beginning of this journey, and a few years later, boom: she launches Gotham as New York’s first legal cannabis store.

This week’s campaign, therefore, builds on that premise: to help change hearts and minds about Mary Jane. “We wanted to capture NYC with a fresh perspective and transcend the boundaries of traditional cannabis culture,” Wilson tells Creative Boom.

For the most part, the ‘Say High’ OOH campaign seeks to cement Gotham’s reputation as being – not just a premium cannabis experience with a decent selection of cannabis and lifestyle products – but one that’s a cultural hub that fosters creativity, community, and education, all under one roof.

Developed and executed by Gotham’s in-house creative team and led by award-winning creative director and cannabis marketing veteran Geraldine Hessler, it features local NYC influencers, including Marie Faustin, Adrian Torres, Amber Strickland, Frankie Horne, Gissell Diaz, Quincy Shelton, Michael Jenkins, Katrina Parubleva, and Emily Yamaguchi.

It has taken over the streets of Manhattan this week, including street and subway posters and digital kiosks. In addition, Gotham will collaborate with local artists and influencers within the cannabis community to share reels, stories and shoppable carousels on social media. Visit www.gotham.nyc for more information.

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