Hays Travel staff enjoy moment of fame after TV appearance

Eleven Hays Travel staff are enjoying a moment of fame by appearing in the company’s latest national TV advert – from agent apprentices to branch managers.

The commercial, which went live last month to coincide with the summer lates market and runs on ITV until August, was filmed at the new Hays Travel branch in Sutton, London.

Staff had to audition to land roles in the ad, which features the familiar ‘Nobody offers you more’ motif, and the chosen 11, mostly agents, travelled from across the country to join filming at the London branch.

More: Hays Travel store in Sutton bids to cash in on TV ad stardom

They included Evelyn McEvoy, travel consultant at Hays’ Cumbernauld branch, who sings professionally and appeared in the company’s last TV ad, and Michael Astley, a learning and development coach based in head office, who created one of Hays Travel’s first TikTok posts in his former branch-based role. 

The other Hays agents in the ad are: Aaminah Hussain, a 16-year-old apprentice at Hays Travel Nottingham; Janet Merrins, travel consultant at Hays Travel Perth; Hollie Bates, assistant manager at Hays Travel Westhoughton; Suzanne Waterall, a travel consultant at Bradway branch; Zara Hills, consultant at Hays Travel Bishop’s Stortford; Daniel Hardwick, apprentice at Hays Travel Halifax; Luke Nicol, branch manager and Gareth Moremon, travel consultant, both from Hays Travel White Rose; and Lindsay Marie Johnson, travel consultant, Hays Travel Liverpool Lord Street.

While many of the agents have a drama or musical background, Merrins decided to push herself outside her comfort zone after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2022. She said: “This was one of the most fun days at work and I loved every minute of it!”

Hays Travel’s head of strategy Lisa McAuley said: “We wanted to showcase our agents’ genuine passion for travel and connection with their customers too, so put a call out for volunteers and were overwhelmed by the response.

“Thankfully, our agency, Space City, handled the shortlisting process. They held over 30 Zoom castings before selecting the final 11 participants, it was quite a task!”

She added that the ad’s jingle had been synonymous with Hays Travel for many years and was a “must have” on the brief given to creative agencies.

Hays Travel appointed Space City after reviewing pitches from several high-profile agencies. Space City is known for its short commercials, having worked with clients including Go Compare, Moon Pig and Cadburys.

Tom Challis, a freelance producer working with Space City, said: “As a director, I’ve overseen countless auditions, but never have I encountered such passionate individuals about their workplace. Each person had a unique story to tell, I could have included everyone.”

‘It was all so professional’

Sutton branch manager Mike Fox was on hand to help the film crew when the shop became a set for the agency’s national TV ad.

The shop – chosen based on its floor space and ease of parking – was shut to allow London-based production company Space City take over the branch for filming in April.

The ad features Hays agents singing in the store with customers played by actors and switches to holidaymakers packing up their car for a holiday and in a hotel reception.

Fox said: “I was there on the day and I let the production team in at 7am on the day and we had Hays agents from all over, including Scotland, Nottingham and Leeds, and a couple of actors, come to take part in the ad. None of our team are in it – we can’t sing for toffee!

“The kitchen was used for hair and make-up, we boarded up the window so customers couldn’t see the filming, and there was food and drink in the foreign exchange office.

“It was all done so professionally, at one point I was standing by the director and I thought this must be how Steven Spielberg feels!”

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