Case Study The greater happiness campaign

Case Study:

The greater happiness campaign[1]


This case study analysis assignment is worth 15% of the total grade for this course.  Your case study is to be completed individually and independently, except that consultation with UMUC Writing Tutoring or the UMUC Effective Writing Center is allowed and encouraged.  No collaboration with any other student is allowed.[2]

The due date for this assignment is Week 9 by 11:59pm Sunday.  The Departmental Late policy for late submissions is found in the Grading Information area of your syllabus.

The rubric including all grading criteria is found within this assignment.  Be sure to review the grade rubric before, during, and after you write your case analysis, to ensure you address all criteria.


It has been five years since you graduated with your master’s.  You recently started a new position as the Vice President of Marketing for HPE,­­­­ a mid-size company that markets a number of totally natural products, including mood enhancing nutritional supplements.[4]   This move is an exciting one for you.  HPE, which has its headquarters in your home state, offered a significant step up in salary, the VP title and many other perks you value.  Your previous marketing experience was with much larger organizations.  HPE is smaller, in an industry new to you and is resourced quite differently than you are accustomed.  You are pleased to find the marketing at HPE is state-of-the-art.  The marketing team is digitally savvy and highly enthusiastic.  As a whole the team seems to favor ideas that involve digital, partners, and leveraging outside resources.  This process of marketing is new for you, and you are embracing it because it seems to be working for HPE.  The HPE brand has become a serious challenger in its category.

During your first quarter with HPE you accept an invitation from Oi, the world’s largest social networking site, to hear about a new digital ad strategy.  Two years ago Oi came from nowhere and became the #1 social app on nearly everyone’s device.  The name Oi originally stood for “Opt-in” – a type of data collection practice, but the word also is a friendly greeting in certain languages, so the app was widely adopted on a global basis.  Oi is particularly appreciated for its rigorous cyber-security.  The network has never experienced a data breach.

On a Friday you traveled to New York with your team, listening to the Oi “pitch.”

The room was full of Oi advertising strategists and market research analysts.  Two executives have given presentations.  The first was a Oi ad strategist who made two points.  First, Oi has innovated a sophisticated algorithm that can identify Oi users who express on the site a profile of emotions Oi labels “unhappy.”  Second, Oi proposes to offer relevant products and services to the so-called “unhappy” users.  HPE was invited to this presentation because HPE has placed digital advertising on Oi in the past and was identified as offering products – in particular, the HPE mood enhancing supplements – likely to be relevant when users express unhappiness.

The second speaker was a Oi analyst.  The analyst explained that data science proved in prior research studies long ago that certain newsflow posts were found to be effective for influencing users’ emotions.  She then mentioned ongoing research shows that targeted ads have an even stronger effect on emotions than newsflow posts ever did.  Oi is running a pilot project suggesting just-in-time relevant products through targeted ads based on the content of posts, messages and other user activity on the network.  So far, targeted ads have been shown to convert more “unhappy” Oi users into “happy” users.  Oi is looking for the right mix of relevant products to offer its users and it wants to work with HPE.  “Wouldn’t it be great to make more people in the world happy?” she asks.  “Your company now has the awesome power to do this.”


One of the first speaker slides mentions that the highest probability for success is where HPE provides specific customer data to Oi, allowing Oi to match-up HPE customers with known Oi users who fit the “unhappy” profile.  Oi will develop ads specifically to appear in the newsflows of those targets.  The data points listed for good matching are:  email, phone number, first name, last name, ZIP or postal code, city, state, country, date of birth, year of birth, age, and gender.


The presentations concluded and you and your team met in a coworking space in New York to review the proposal.  Overall, your team seemed quite impressed. The consensus on the team seemed to be “let’s do it!”  A sharp co-op intern on the team tentatively asks, “I not sure but, you know, um, do you think this arrangement with Oi is completely ethical?”  At that moment you see a text from your boss so you excuse yourself, suggesting a 5-minute break.


Here’s the text from your boss at HPE:

Oi, how’s it going? Q2 sales trend is L  We need Q3 and 4 marketing boost.


You reply to your boss:

Oi is interesting.  Much to digest from here.  Will give update on Monday.


You go back in and find that the team has been talking it through; everyone now wants to go forward with Oi; even the intern agrees.  You say, “Okay, I hear you. Since it’s Friday afternoon and we all have flights and other places to be, I’d like to think this through a bit more over the weekend before we respond.  Let’s tell Oi they will hear from us next week.”




Analyze this case study by responding to the case study questions below using the format specified.  The factual information needed is found within the case study and the Additional Resources within this document.  This is a case analysis, not a research assignment.   No additional research, aside from the assigned readings and the Additional Resources, is expected for this assignment.  If outside sources are used, they must be from a reliable source (e.g., from the UMUC library) and source citation must be provided in APA format..



Case Study Questions


  1. Describe clearly the digital ad campaign proposed by Oi for HPE in one or two sentences. Identify at least one potential ethical issue with this campaign.  Identify any missing information.  You are home now.  To get clear in your own mind, you write down how you envision the proposed Oi campaign will work.  Do you see any potential ethical issue(s)?  If so what are they?  What additional information do you need? [3 paragraphs]
  2. Assess the proposed campaign in terms of utilitarianismIncreasing happiness sounds great.  This reminds you of something you learned in graduate school; you decide to evaluate the ethics of the Oi campaign in terms of utilitarianism. See, Additional Resources, Chapter 2. [1-2 paragraphs]
  3. Apply the AMA Statement of Ethics. You remember the American Marketing Association (AMA) Statement of Ethics and decide to see how that might apply to the Oi campaign.   See, Additional Resources.  Apply that code in this step. [3-5 paragraphs]
  4. Stakeholder analysis. Assess the campaign in terms of impact on major stakeholders.   You evaluate the ethics of the Oi campaign in terms of its impact on major stakeholders in this decision.  Who are the major stakeholders here?   How would it affect them?  Do their interests align with one another?  If not, whose interests are most important?  See, Chapter 2.  [1-3 paragraphs]
  5. Make clear recommendations/decision that you will communicate about this proposal. Based on your full analysis of the ethics of the proposed Oi campaign, will you go forward? Are there any changes you would recommend?  There are three constituents awaiting your thoughts on this proposal:  your boss, your team and Oi.  Write down how you will respond on Monday to your boss, the team and to Oi.   Your boss wants a marketing boost in the next two quarters, what will you tell your boss?  Your team wants to go full steam ahead with Oi’s campaign. What will you tell your team?  Oi has made a pitch, so you will need to respond to Oi on behalf of HPE about the campaign proposal. What is your response to Oi?  Remember, you are not a disinterested observer; in this scenario you are the new VP of Marketing for HPE.  [2-3 paragraphs]




Follow this format and use section titles.


  1. Introduction


  1. Case Analysis
  2. Ethical Issue(s) & Missing Information Identification

[Case Question 1 analysis]

  1. Ethical Evaluation – Part I: Utilitarianism

[Case Question 2 analysis]

  1. Ethical Evaluation – Part II: AMA Statement of Ethics

[Case Question 3 analysis]

  1. Ethical Evaluation – Part III: Stakeholder Analysis

[Case Question 4 analysis]

  1. Recommendations for HPE

[Case Question 5 analysis]


  • Conclusion






Do not include a cover page or an abstract. Font is Times New Roman 12;  double spacing is used, in accordance with APA requirements.  See the Writing Resources section for how to format the document in APA.


All factual material, no matter the source, must be properly source cited in APA format. A reference list in APA format is required.   See the Writing Resources section for how to format the reference list in APA.


There is no page requirement.  It is reasonable to expect that your completed case study will be about 6-8 pages long (not including reference page). The suggested lengths for each section appear in the case study questions above.


First person voice is appropriate for this assignment.  You have a role in this scenario and you should identify yourself and your role.


The Introduction should contain information that is appropriate to introduce the scope and contents of the case analysis.  The Introduction should explain what your paper will do and how.  It is appropriate in Introduction to mention your role in the scenario. The introduction should not contain any conclusions.  The Conclusion should briefly summarize what you have concluded in your analysis (e.g., your recommendations) and, briefly, what was most important to that process.  It should not contain new information not already revealed in your analysis.


The grading rubric for this assignment is provided below.



Additional Resources



Writing Resources


The APA document format video (<6 min) shows how to set-up a document in Word to comply with APA format.



The APA reference list video (<10 min)  is about formatting the reference list.  It also looks at several different types of references – all from online sources – and how to cite those in APA format.




Additional resources for APA formatting can be found in LEO > Content > Course Content > Writing Resources.


Writing tutoring is available, free of charge, for support in developing your written communication skills.  See  Content > Course Resources > Writing Tutoring Registration  for details on how to register and begin using this service.





Qualities & Criteria Excellent


Good – Very Good


Improvement Needed



Below 70%

Fo    C      Content –  Possible points: 80  

Campaign Ethical issue(s) identification


Missing information identification


Campaign is clearly described and ethical issues clearly identified.


Additional information needs are clearly identified and appropriate to the campaign strategy.



Campaign description may need more information and/or support.  Ethical issues may need for information and/or support.

Additional information needs may need more information and/or support.


Campaign description may lack clarity.  Ethical issues may lack clarity.

Additional information needs may lack clarity.



Campaign description missing or inaccurate. Ethical issues missing or inaccurate.

Additional information needs missing or inaccurate.


  20 – 18 17.99 – 16 15.99 – 14 Under 14
Q2. Ethical evaluation Part I

Applying Utilitarianism


Q4: Ethical evaluation Part II AMA Ethical Code

Q4: Ethical evaluation Part III Stakeholder Analysis



Application of utilitarianism to situation is exceptional.


Highly appropriate evaluation and analysis of ethical considerations including all steps in code.



Application of stakeholder analysis to situation is exceptional.




Recommendations indicate excellent understanding of all major ethical issues in case study.


Application of utilitarianism may need more information and/or support.


Ethical code evaluation and analysis may need more information and/or support.

Application of stakeholder analysis may need more information and/or support.

Recommendations may need more information/or support.  Recommendations are not sufficiently specific or realistic.

Recommendations need more support from ethics material.

Applications of utilitarianism may lack clarity.

Ethical code evaluation and analysis may lack clarity or be missing steps in the analysis.

Application of stakeholder analysis may lack clarity.

Recommendations may lack clarity.

Recommendations are not specific or realistic.

Recommendations lack support from ethics material.

One or more recommendations may be missing.

Application of utilitarianism missing or incomplete.

Ethical code evaluation and analysis missing or incomplete.

Stakeholder analysis missing or incomplete.

Recommendations missing or unrealistic.

  60 – 54 53.99 – 48 47.99 – 42 Under 42
Total Content 80 – 72 71.99 – 64 63.99 – 56 Below 56
Content Points        



Communication –  Possible points : 20  
Form, Format & Writing Introduction and Conclusion are appropriate to scope & contents.


Overall, graduate level writing is reflected throughout, including accurate spelling, punctuation, grammar, and sentence structure.

All sources are identified and cited properly in the text and the reference list (APA format)

Introduction and/or conclusion may need more information. Overall, writing meets graduate standards.

Fewer than 5 errors in spelling, punctuation, grammar, and/or sentence structure.

Few errors in the proper use of citations (APA format)

Introduction and/or conclusion may lack clarity. Overall, writing in case study does not meet graduate standards.


Unacceptable number of errors in spelling, punctuation, grammar, sentence structure.

Citations and/or reference list are not properly used (APA format)


Introduction and/or conclusion missing or does not accurately describe scope & contents.


Overall, writing does not meet graduate standards.

Unacceptable number of errors in spelling, punctuation, grammar, sentence structure.

Citations and/or reference list missing.  No attempt to apply APA format.

  20 – 18 17.99 – 16 15.99 – 14 Below 14
Communication Points        
Content Points + Communication Points = TOTAL Grade        




[1]Copyright © 2019 University of Maryland University College.  Do not post or share outside of MRKT 601, Section 9040, Summer 2019.


[2] The Marketing Program adheres to the Departmental Policy on Originality of work.  This policy appears in the syllabus for this course in the Grading Information section and reads in part, “The work in this class must be your own and original to this course. Work prepared for other courses or use of material obtained from other students is expressly prohibited and can result in a grade of zero “0” for the assignment and/or course failure…”

This means you may not reuse work that you have submitted in a prior course, either at UMUC or elsewhere.  Your case study analysis will be submitted to by the instructor.


[3] Cite as: Case study:  The greater happiness campaign. (2019).  Unpublished case study, MRKT 601, University of Maryland University College.

[4] HPE and Oi are fictitious companies, created for the purposes of this case study.

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