My Email Obsession: Baboon to the Moon

A few months ago, a friend forwarded me an email with the simple message “Ha I thought you’d appreciate this”. 

a photo of a beluga whale popping its head out of the water. The headline says "just here to say hi"
The Welcome Email - WHY IS IT A BELUGA WHALE!?

My initial thought? What the heck is this!? The “Hello” link (which, I realized was a link while writing this) brings me to a karaoke version of Adele’s “Hello” (I would have linked to Lionel Richie, but WHATEVER). I’m staring down a beluga whale. There’s nothing in this email having to do with baboons or moons. I have no freaking idea what this company is selling.

Baboon to the Moon Instagram page. Grid layout featuring people with bags
In retrospect, I should have realized their product offering.

And I wasn’t mad. Not one bit. I was intrigued, perplexed, and wanting to know more. In the dumpster fire known as 2020, this was thrilling. I flew over to Instagram and was inundated with more bright color pallets and bold text. The feed at the time still didn’t tell me what I was looking at, so I headed to the website.

Baboon to the Moon website homepage. Purple gradient is towards the top half of the page with assorted bags for sale.
Wow, so colorful, so cool.

They sell bags, and I had no idea.

These emails go against all my design sensibilities. They’re loud, the colors clash, the type is BIG and BOLD and IN YOUR FACE! And I don’t usually like big, bold, and in your face. I don’t design that way. I like subtle things with an abundance of white space. I like things to be understated. 

Yet I’m obsessed. Why am I obsessed?

I think I’m obsessed because they feel like they aren’t trying, and yet … it works. The subject line and preview text always flow directly into their gigantic headlines, into some bright and colorful product photos, right down to their giant “Instagram Portal” graphic. Sometimes there are even off-the-wall gifs and emails that have nothing to do with their product.

What is happening!? I’m obsessed. What will they do next? I have to know.