03/19/2014 04:41 pm ET Updated May 19, 2014

Look Me in the Eye When You Say That

The videos above were produced for the GOP.

I think the idea was to make the GOP more attractive to young voters.

I don't know if they work or not, but I can tell the GOP one thing that does not work -- and that is the idea that the speaker makes no eye contact with the viewer.

This is a very old (you can guess what kind of person they hired to produce these -- NOT young and hip) idea in conventional TV: "Don't look at the camera".

This makes no sense whatsoever.

If you want to make a point with someone, you look directly at them.

Care to try a little experiment at home? Say something really important to your wife or husband or kids, but stare off about 30 degrees to the left. Refuse to make eye contact with them at all.
Watch what happens.

They will either walk away, or be completely annoyed that you refuse to even look at them.

I would guess that the GOP's target audience will respond in the same way.

So where did this rule come from that you are not supposed to look at the camera?

It's a remnant of 1965 television making, when cameras were these very big and heavy things, carried around on the shoulders of cameramen.

The reporter didn't want you paying attention to the cameraman. He (or she, but rarely) wanted you paying attention to him or her.


You end up looking at the person's ear while they talk to you.

Bad television. Bad ads.

The GOP can call me any time they like, seriously. I can help!