Björn Borg, the world’s premier underwear retailer named for a retired Swedish tennis star, launched an unusual marketing campaign back in October. The company pledged to deliver a shipment of “weapons of mass seduction” (maybe little too soon, guys?) – that is, cute underwear – to the country that fans felt needed it most. Because this is the internet we’re talking about, North Korea won by a landslide. Undeterred by the possibility of causing an international incident, Björn Borg dispatched an anonymous journalist to follow in the sacred, enormous footsteps of Dennis Rodman.
Like a unseasonably sexy Santa Claus, this guy jammed 150 pairs of pink, camo-print underpants into his luggage and hoped for the best. Though his reception in Pyongyang was warm, he found himself without internet access or cell phone coverage. His state-appointed guides, while friendly, would rarely leave his side.
It ultimately proved incredibly difficult for the Björn Borg rep to give the underwear away. The vast majority of the North Koreans he encountered wouldn’t even agree to pose for a photo. He gave his guides and chambermaids pairs of underwear as thank-you gifts. He considered hanging the underwear in public places, but eventually thought better of it: “…I’m not sure what my excuse would be if I got caught. I don’t think they would buy ‘It’s an art project,’ since I’m not in Brooklyn.”
As his trip drew to a close, he grew increasingly desperate. He left stacks of underwear in the lobby and hallways of his hotel.
He even threw some out the window.
It makes for a pretty picture, though I’m not sure most people would pick up a pair of mysterious underwear they found on the street.
Kudos to Björn Borg for following through on their promise. Then again, considering the whole “countrywide famine” thing, it might’ve be nice if they’d brought over some food, too. Or at least edible underwear?
[h/t The Atlantic Cities]