Capacity to Astonish is the New Marketing Metric

I've now watched three people view this five-minute WestJet promotional video. Each of them teared up; one cried.  

Nothing particularly moving happens. No one is cured of cancer or reunited with a long-lost loved one. "New socks and underwear" might be the only memorable line. 

Yet millions of people—nearly 8 million at last count—have viewed this this video. Many are talking about it on social media, posting exclamations like: 

WOW!!! Never heard of WestJet before, but what a grand gesture from this Canadian company! 

Count me among that clan. I've even looked into investing in the company.

Because someone at WestJet understands that clever advertising headlines, funny pranks and jokey animations won't even get us to swivel our heads any more, let alone sink into our psyches. 

It takes bigger (and bigger) ideas to connect with consumers on an emotional level—and even bigger teams, across companies, to execute them. 

I understand that WestJet calls this marketing philosophy CARE—Create A Remarkable Experience. Borrowing from my "Gravity" post from last week, I think the WestJet team can claim an even bigger accomplishment: 

Create Astonishingly Remarkable Experiences.