This study seeks to investigate the socio-pragmatic and persuasive functions of politeness in Jordanian print advertisements. Specifically, the study is concerned
with the linguistic politeness strategies the Jordanian ads deploy in order to persuade the potential Jordanian customers of their products. Brown and Levinson’s (1987)
seminal work as well as Watts’ (2003) and Spencer-Oatey’s (2005) research on politeness provide the framework for this study. My study is based on examining linguistic
politeness as linked to social relationships (Christie 2005), in that “‘ways of putting things’ ... are part of the very stuff that social relationships are made of”
(Brown and Levinson 1987: 55). It is believed that the success of the ads hinges on their politeness and persuasion strategies that appeal to the socio-economic and
cultural specificities of Jordanian society. To this end, 200 Jordanian ads were collected from Al-Ghad, Al-Rai, and Ad-Dustour,
the major Jordanian newspapers. The ads’ messages were analyzed to highlight their politeness strategy category and subcategory and their frequencies were computed.
This study was conducted on the assumption that the ads would use more positive politeness strategies to establish rapport with the customers in the hope of winning the
approval of their products.