• Author:Pik
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Muslim Marketing Mistake #2: The Piggy Bank

Over the past couple years, we’ve been giving our daughter a weekly allowance, hoping to teach her some basic money management skills. Our only condition is that she divides it: 1/3 for savings, 1/3 for charity, and 1/3 to spend as she wants.

To further encourage her, we opened her own savings account. We were really surprised when the bank sent her a welcome package, which included a piggy bank. Giggling, we thought about the very different cultural reaction people would have in a Muslim-majority country.

In the West, piggy banks are considered cute. They conjure all sorts of pleasant images, based on childhood experiences, as well as images in commercials and movies. It’s so pervasive that many marketing materials and publications use piggy banks to represent the concept of saving.


An alternative to a piggy bank can be something as simple as a money jar.

In contrast, pigs are forbidden to eat according to Islamic law. For Muslims from around the world, the pig is perceived as dirty and forbidden. This prohibition has led to a cultural dislike for pigs. If banks were to give away piggy banks in Muslim-majority markets, this generous gesture would most likely backfire.

Religious and cultural differences like this become relevant when we design publications for the Islamic Economy. We always make it a point to avoid imagery that may be perceived as offensive. In the case of piggy banks, we use more universal images such as a glass jar with money, symbols of money, or stylized images of banks.


  • Wine glass or wine bottle on a dining table
  • Women in short-sleeves or short skirts
  • Dogs
  • Group photos of men and women physically touching each other
  • Bikinis
  • Food pictures with bacon

We truly believe good design is meant to facilitate communication. In order to do this we have to understand who we’re speaking to and respect their worldview and values.

We hope this helped. If you have any further questions for us, we’re happy to help. Call or email us anytime.

Pik + Jontie

studio of KUNG PIK LIU (KPL) helps mission-driven organizations effectively connect and communicate with their audiences, by transforming content-heavy copy into beautiful and easy-to-consume infographics, reports, magazines, and more.