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Pig Industry Insider

Cartoon pig reveals a modern view of pig products

May 7, 2013

Consumers' current views of pork products may be seen in an incentive started 30 years ago by a national retail bank in Britain. The bank offered china pigs as an incentive for children’s savings accounts. Account holders would gain a new pig each time the money they had saved passed a certain amount, marking success by collecting all figures in a pig “family.”

Following this was a long tradition of so-called piggy banks -- containers in the form of a pig, with a slot in the back through which coins could be inserted.

The promotion was only temporarily revived about six years ago, with just a single pig from the original family. But, now the idea has been completely re-invented by the same bank. In the later part of 2012, it launched a competition in which children under 13 years old were invited to submit their design for a new china pig that could be given away to those who opened a children's bank account. The winner, a 12-year-old boy from London, was selected in a drawing.

His winning pig resembles a pink blob, with big eyes and recognizably porcine snout, ears and tail.

However, for anyone involved in pork production, the most noticeable part of its appearance is how much this differs from those first china pigs of 30 years ago. They had human-like form, sat upright rather than on four legs and were dressed in human clothes.

Nothing of that sort remains in the new version of the pig. Perhaps this is a sign of the times in pork production, as well. In that case, it is worth noting for every company that markets pork products by associating a cartoon pig with its brand that consumers are looking for a modern image. Avoid associating human characteristics with the cartoon or outdated cartoons, entirely, unless you want to be considered as being from a past generation.

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