Amazon is tackling inflation head on…with an advertising campaign.

The e-commerce and web services giant is actually encouraging parents to spend less on their kids for their back-to-school needs.

Will this attempt at humour and playfulness work on consumers, many of whom are experiencing the real world effects of higher prices?

by Insider Intelligence

The news: Amazon has launched its 2022 back-to-school advertising campaign that playfully tackles a topic shoppers are all too familiar with: inflation.
  • In the spot, actress Kathryn Hahn encourages parents to “Go ahead and spend less” on their children.


  • The campaign, which includes a 30-second spot and three 15-second versions, was developed by the internal cross-channel marketing team of Amazon, and will appear on both digital and national TV networks.


  • The initiative comes at a time when data suggests inflation concerns may constrain back-to-school sales.
Does it work? The campaign is appropriately focused on affordability and convenience at a time of rampant inflation and is fitting for the back-to-school season—a time when adults may feel pressure to spend on their children, despite economic anxiety.
  • Amazon’s back-to-school marketing is letting parents know that getting ready for the new school year doesn’t have to be expensive even as inflation reaches a 40-year high.


  • Most (84%) of consumers believe they’ll be seeing increased prices this back-to-school season, per National Retail Federation data; as a result, 64% plan to time their purchases with sales—compared with 61% in 2021 and 55% pre-pandemic.


  • While many brands don’t lean into humour, there’s strong evidence that it works: 91% of respondents in Oracle’s recent Happiness Report prefer brands to be funny, including 94% of Gen Zers and Millennials.
The big takeaway: Can anything good come from inflation?

There’s not much—but connecting with consumers through humor makes this ad stand out.