Rosser Reeves coined the term "video vampire," for any visual element of a commercial that detracted from the selling message. These visual elements may have even been designed with the intent of supporting or enhancing the selling message, but they are such strong images that the audience remembers them rather than the product.
Juliann Sivulka pointed out that, "According to Reeves’ straightforward, hard-sell formula, an ad contained nothing - not even sex - that would distract people from the message. The key to maintaining focus became repetition. For instance, an ad for Fleischmann’s margarine mentioned the USP ‘corn oil margarine’ seven times. "
Reeves himself compared the video vampires of television (a new medium at the time) with old-fashioned scene stealers. In his description of vampire video in Reality in Advertising, he quotes a passage from Albert Camus's The Fall, "How often, standing on the sidewalk involved in a passionate discussion with a friend, I lost the thread of the argument being developed because a devastating woman was crossing the street at that very moment."