• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Björn Borg drops undies in North Korea

The Local · 19 Nov 2013, 16:47

Published: 19 Nov 2013 16:47 GMT+01:00

The focal point of Björn Borg’s autumn campaign ‘Björn Borg says JA! to Weapons of Mass Seducton’ was The Drop, a scheme to “love bomb” underwear onto the city voted most in need of some love and seduction.

"We couldn’t even imagine a place like North Korea would win,” Lina Söderqvist, marketing director at Björn Borg, told The Local. "We had planned how we would pursue an airdrop, and we could have done it almost anywhere in the world – except North Korea."

Just over a week into the campaign, The Drop's website experienced a traffic surge from South Korea. The North Korean capital sky-rocketed in the poll, gaining more than 25,000 votes overnight. By the poll’s end on October 31st, more than 53,000 people around the world had taken part in the vote, and 60 percent went to Pyongyang.

"It was impossible to do an airdrop in North Korea," Söderqvist told The Local. "Someone would get hurt. But we had promised to deliver our underwear to the winner, and the world voted for North Korea. And we thought, who are we to say no? We’ve been given this mission, by the world. So let’s do it."

The solution? Sending in an undercover journalist. Björn Borg hired a journalist, whose name is withheld for security reasons, to give out the underwear by hand in Pyongyang.

“We also sent a package of underwear to the embassy, but it didn’t arrive and we don’t know why,” Söderqvist said, adding that the seductive undies might have been seized by the state.

The Swedish infiltrator was only allowed to bring one suitcase, which he stuffed with 150 pairs of bright pink camo-print underwear. He went to Pyongyang on a tourist visa and was accompanied at all times by two North Korean “guides”, to whom he also gave underwear.

“Conditions for performing this task are… not ideal,” the journalist wrote on his anonymous blog documenting the experience. “The only time when I was left alone today was for one minute down in the Pyongyang Metro, but I felt that taking out pink underwear and taking photos down there could have serious consequences, so I decided not to do it.”

While he did manage to give out all of the underwear from his suitcase, not a single recipient dared to get their picture taken with the underwear, the journalist reported on the blog. In a desperate attempt to spread more seduction he resorted to dropping underwear in the hotel corridor – and even throwing it out the window of his room on the 41st floor.

“I wish I could be there when someone finds the gifts I put out on the street,” he signed off on his blog. “In any case, I’m sure the recipients of our gifts will have use for them, and that their new Weapons of Mass Seduction will do more good than the thousands of actual weapons in circulation here.”

In the meantime, Björn Borg’s website keeps getting hit by South Korean visitors, and the company has decided to give back the love. “We’re planning on translating some of our site into South Korean,” Söderqvist told The Local. “We’re not planning on doing distribution there in the near future, but who knows? It may come.”

Story continues below…

After South Korea, the country with the most votes for needing more love and seduction was Sweden, with Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg in second place, and the Swedish Left Party in third.

Solveig Rundquist

Follow Solveig on Twitter

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Swedes shell out for season's first lobster
Meet Pontus Johansson and his lobster. Photo: Thomas Johansson/TT

Best not to look at the price tag.

Witnesses 'afraid to talk' to police about Malmö shooting
Police investigating the shooting in Malmö. Photo: Emil Langvad/TT

Police are appealing for witnesses to a shooting which killed a man and injured three in a residential street of Malmö – but it is an uphill battle.

Opinion
Swedish leaders need to be prepared for tech challenges
Will robots take over your jobs? Photo: Eric Piermont/AP

Will your job still exist in ten years' time? How will society and businesses adapt to the advancements that are on their way?

Opinion
'If Sweden really wants startups, drop the red tape'
Tech star Tayyab Shabab, who is being threatened with deportation. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

Swedish politicians are keen to talk up the country's startups – but their migration rules threaten to strangle them, argues The Local's managing editor James Savage.

Startup heavyweights back tech ace told to leave Sweden
Spotify founder Daniel Ek is one of the big tech names backing Tayyab Shabab (right). Photo: Ingvar Karmhed/SvD/TT & personal

Major names in the tech community have rallied behind a developer who was told he must leave Sweden within a month due to an admin error made by his former employer.

Why Sweden could deport hundreds of refugee children
A home for lone refugee children in Sweden. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Several hundred lone refugee children could now be sent home from Sweden due to a change in how the rule on exceptional circumstances is applied when making asylum decisions.

Rare and horny ox spotted looking for ladies in Sweden
The ox in question. Photo: Pia Jäderberg

Unfortunately he isn't likely to be successful.

Russian bombers spook Sweden-bound flight
A Russian Tupolev bomber not related to the story. Photo: STR/TT

A flight bound for Stockholm from Reykjavik got a nasty surprise last week when its pilot spotted two Russian bombers from his window.

One dead after Malmö drive-by shooting
Police cars outside the hospital where some of the people shot were taken. Photo: Emil Langvad/TT

UPDATED: One of the four men injured in a drive-by shooting in Malmö has died, police confirmed on Monday.

In pictures
How a Swedish hotel reunited this bear with his best friend
The bear having a croissant for breakfast. Photo: Kristoffer Kinnunen/Hotel Avalon

A Gothenburg hotel's attempt to track down the owner of this lost teddy bear turned into something much bigger.

Sponsored Article
Let's Talk: a personal Swedish language tutor in your pocket
National
Trump an 'embarrassment' Springsteen tells Sweden
Sponsored Article
‘I view the world in a different way now’
Gallery
People-watching: September 23rd-25th
Politics
Russian Sweden Democrat aide resigns over suspect deal
Blog updates

7 September

Svensk or svenska? (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hejsan! My inbox is full of questions :-). Here’s one about when to use “svensk” and…" READ »

 

23 August

A Summer in Sweden (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"For our first year here in Sweden we decided to have all our holidays in Sweden.…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
'Creating a sense of home': Collective living in Stockholm
National
Muslim teacher leaves job after not shaking male colleague's hand
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Travel
Why we adore autumn in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 21st
National
Stockholmers hunt killer badger after attack on neighbourhood hipster cat
Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: 'So much more than beaches'
The Local Voices
Why this Russian developer is committed to helping refugees - with tech
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
Six key points in Sweden's budget plan
The Local Voices
How a Swedish name finally made recruiters notice this Iranian's CV
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Gallery
Property of the week: Luleå
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Gallery
People-watching: September 16th-18th
Culture
Why Swedish TV has given these kids' trucks a sex swap
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
National
TIMELINE: Everything you need to know about the Julian Assange case
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
Gallery
People-watching: September 14th
Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden’s ’a-kassa’
Politics
Why Sweden is putting troops on holiday dream island Gotland
The Local Voices
'What I mean when I say: I came here to blow myself up'
Society
VIDEO: Are Swedes that unfriendly?
Features
INTERVIEW: How Arthur the jungle dog opened hearts and minds
Gallery
Property of the week: Smögen, Västra Götaland
Society
Sweden's ancient forest tongue Elfdalian fights for survival
National
Where Sweden's foreigners are from
Gallery
People-watching: September 9th-11th
The Local Voices
Shakib, 23, works and pays taxes — but will Sweden let him stay?
National
Watch this Swede roll his kayak without spilling his beer. Respect.
The Local Voices
'Whenever I apply for jobs I’m treated like an unwanted stranger'
The Local Voices
Is Swedish bosses' ignorance keeping refugees out of jobs?
2,962
jobs available