Less than a month before his passing on December 28, former Motörhead frontman Lemmy filmed a commercial for Finnish dairy company Valio. It was to be a remake of a classic Finnish milk spot from 20 years ago, which featured a rough-looking character leaving a seedy bar, who barks at the camera, "I have never drunk milk, and never will."
Lemmy filmed the ad on location in Maunula, on the outskirts of Helskini, after Motörhead played in the Finnish capital. Since his death, the ad, created by Helsinki-based agency, hasan & partners, has been reworked into a tribute to the star.
Scrapping the spot was of course considered, Jussi Lindholm, chief operating officer of hasan & partners, explains in a statement: "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 crystallized Lemmy’s spirit, so we agreed to change it and make a tribute."
In the 40-second film, which was directed by Markus Virpiö who also directed the '90s version, Lemmy is seen emerging from a similar bar, and, brandishing his walking cane at the camera, delivers the lines as in the original spot, but adds an unscripted, "You arsehole," and looks away, smiling.
Text saying, "Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister 1945-2015", and, "We raise our glasses to you," then appears onscreen.
After the ad, more text states:
This is offered in celebration of the life of a lovely, exceptional man—a man who celebrated life so vibrantly himself.
We were first shooting a remake of an iconic Finnish milk ad. The tone of this ad that was shot a month ago was changed to make it a heartfelt tribute, however modest.
A take that came late in the shoot was selected—one of Lemmy’s brilliant improv moments that was never in the script.
This was our magical encounter with a great man—and we’re honored to share it with the world.
Thank you, Lemmy.
Check out The original '90s Finnish commercial below.