The Milk of Spades


Valio is the biggest dairy business and a brand leader in Finland by net turnover of €1.95m ($2.1m), and a major player in the international dairy ingredients market.

Less than a month before the death of Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister, the legendary Motörhead frontman filmed a milk commercial for Valio, which on Jan 8, 2016 was remade and broadcast on YouTube. 


The 40-second video was well-received by Lemmy’s management and is a remake of an iconic 20-year old commercial that featured a character who exits a seedy bar and states “I have never drunk milk, and never will”.

Created by hasan & partners Helsinki, in light of Lemmy’s death, the original script was changed to recreate the ad as a tribute. It was made on location in Maunula, Finland, close to Hartwall Arena where Motörhead performed shortly after the shoot.


The film begins with a lingering external shot of a moody downtown bar and gas station at night, from which Lemmy exits and walks with the aid of his trademark cane. He stops, the camera zooms in, and Lemmy turns to the viewer and says bluntly: “I don’t drink milk, and never will” before adding “you asshole” and raising a wry smile.  

The endline copy says ‘Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister 1945-2015’, followed by ‘We raise our glasses to you’. Milk is seen poured into a glass and the rousing Blue Danube Waltz crescendos as ‘Valio Milk from Finland’ copy closes the spot.

A campaign website features behind the scenes footage, anecdotes and production stills, plus further background on the original ad and inspiration for the 2016 remake.

Jussi Lindholm, chief operating officer of hasan & partners, said: “We were in the middle of post-production when the news about Lemmy broke. We are profoundly grateful to have worked with him and that Lemmy’s management feel good about the result. We discussed not airing the ad but had footage that was not part of the original script, which crystallised Lemmy’s spirit, so we agreed to change it and make a tribute.”

Hanna Savolainen, Valio marketing manager, added: “The purpose of the ad was to present Valio’s innovative milk portfolio to the world. For a long time we’d wanted to remake the iconic ‘I’ve never drunk milk’ ad. hasan & partners had the idea to ask Lemmy and he was as inspired by the script as we were. We were devastated to learn of Lemmy’s passing, but honoured to have collaborated with him. Lemmy was great to work with and we feel we’ve captured the essence of his genuine, lively spirit.”

Check out the final tribute ad here: 


This campaign has just launched. Results to follow. 

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