Courtesy Björn Borg

Delivering panties to North Korea requires a covert operation.

They're calling it a "weapon of mass seduction."

Last month, Swedish retailer Björn Borg, known mainly for its underwear, asked fans to vote for the city "in most need of some love and seduction." Their offering? A "love bomb" of their own devising, a package filled with 450 pairs of sexy, hot pink underwear.

Naturally, the internet responded, choosing the most challenging place to orchestrate an aerial publicity stunt: Pyongyang, North Korea. About a week into the month-long campaign, the voting site went viral in South Korea, racking up 100,000 unique visitors and 25,000 votes for Pyongyang in just one night. In the end, 60 percent of the votes went to the North Korean capital.

Pyongyang was voted "the sexual cold spot on earth." Courtesy Bjorn Borg.

So off to North Korea they went.

"It was impossible to do an airdrop in North Korea," Lina Söderqvist, marketing director at Björn Borg told English-language news site 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."

Instead, an undercover journalist - kept anonymous for security reasons - embedded in North Korea, equipped with a suitcase stuffed with 150 bright pink, camo-print boxer briefs. Traveling on a tourist visa and accompanied (at all times!) by two state guides (who each got a pair) made handing out the freebies something of a challenge. But he met his goal, mainly by surreptitiously dropping undies in the streets and hotel hallways and, eventually, launching them out of his 41st-floor hotel window.

"I wish I could be there when someone finds the gifts I put out on the street," the reporter wrote on a Björn Borg blog cataloging his experiences. "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."

Top Image courtesy Björn Borg.

About the Author

Stephanie Garlock
Stephanie Garlock

Stephanie Garlock is a former fellow at CityLab.

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