Remember The Toyota Guy?

Helaine and I were lying on the bed watching football (kicked out of the family room by Stef as she caught a Law and Order marathon), when the conversation turned to Toyotathon.

Really. Why would I kid about that?

Toyotathon has been a running joke in our family for years. It was the holiday that followed Thanksgiving.

For years Toyota took advantage of the commercial lull after Christmas to mount a huge TV campaign. Nowadays, the ads are running earlier.

They made one other large change. They stopped using Squire Fridell. I was crushed.

You might not recognize the name, but you’ve seen him tens of thousands of times. He was friendly and energetic. He was the ‘everyman’ who enticed you to Toyota. He was the face of Toyotathon for nearly 30 years!

So, there we were watching football and discussing Squire Fridell when I decided to see what ever happened to him. As is often the case, he wasn’t tough to find.

Squire Fridell is a vintner – proprietor, with his wife, of GlenLyon Vineyards and Winery in Glen Ellen, California. Judging by his picture on their website, he’s doing well and looking healthy.

I don’t know him, but I decided to drop him an email anyway and tell him we’d been talking about him. Who doesn’t like knowing they’re being thought of?

Hi Geoff:

Terrific that I actually REPLACED Christmas! That’s a first….

Life is good out here and the wine is even better!

Come out and visit Sonoma Valley where the weather is something to

enjoy (most of the time) rather than report on…. I’ll show you

around GlenLyon!


Squire, The Ghost of Christmas in The Fox Household

It was nice he wrote back and even better he wrote back cleverly!

I’ve come to the conclusion he really is that nice guy they wanted portrayed on TV… true life typecasting by Toyota. I’m glad I sent the email.

3 thoughts on “Remember The Toyota Guy?”

  1. I’m always surprised at how many genuinely nice people are in this business. We hear about the not so nice ones all the time. He does sound like a good and clever guy…reminds me of a weather guy I know. Happy New Year to the Fox’s of Connecticut.

  2. I can vouch that Squire is absolutely a nice, clever, talented guy. My friend, Mike Dever, and I created the Christmas Toyotathon. We had help from Jack Daniels, our creative guy. Geoff I am glad that you recognized the original strategy to go hard after the market while everyone else is asleep. WE took a lot of heat for that strategy. I cannot tell you how many times someone said to me, “You moron you can’t compete with Santa Clause.” I didn’t hear much of that after the first Toyotathon broke all kids of sales records. I cast Squire for that first Toyotathon because he had the look, personality and energy I wanted. He came to the set prepared and loose. He was funny and easy to work with. It was a tough, tough shoot and Squire, the true professional, made it work take after take. Without him it could have been a disaster.

    I read on a blog recently that Squire was a prick on the set. I can assure you that was never the case. That he took time to send you a note does not surprise me. That is just the way he is.

  3. I can certainly vouch for the fact that Squire is a nice guy.
    Also trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.

    Squire Fridell

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