How we turned a trend against itself and created the worst holiday gift of the year on purpose

What we did

Account Management
Brand Strategy
Creative Direction
Video Production
Social Media Strategy
Social Listening
Integrated Media Strategy


In the months leading up to the 2021 holiday season, Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) were a hot topic. Some touted them as the future. Others derided them as a fad. We just saw them as an opportunity to cut through the Christmas clutter and remind everyone that Lexington is the Horse Capital of the World, a top-notch travel destination where real equine experiences won’t drain your crypto wallet.


We opted to capitalize on the NFT craze in an unexpected way by (jokingly) destroying the Christmas wishes of millions of children worldwide who wanted nothing more than a real live pony. Our intentionally underwhelming virtual “art” would make a trip to the Horse Capital of the World seem very appealing in comparison.


We actually minted and sold 10 vaguely equine digital images via OpenSea NFT auction. Man o’ Snore, Ol’ Pixel Face, and Dream Crusher were just a few of the depressingly pixelated “Non-Fungible Thoroughbreds” available for a fraction of the cost of a real pony. And we produced a bait-and-switch video that parodied the tropes of holiday advertising to reel in viewers for the ultimate rug pull.


Limited paid media accounted for a 21% rise in incremental traffic to the VisitLEX website, 285,000 reached through owned social content and more than 50,000 views on YouTube. Meanwhile, PR positioning the stunt as “The Worst Holiday Gift of 2021 on Purpose” earned press coverage in numerous publications, including a spot on AdAge’s “The Top 5 Brand NFTs You Need to Know About Right Now.” Believe it or not, we actually sold the NFTs, too. Proceeds were donated to Old Friends Farm, a nearby Thoroughbred retirement facility.