Honda Just Remade Its Famous 'Cog' Ad, but With a Major Twist

Honda’s “Cog,” made by Wieden + Kennedy in 2003, is one of the most famous car ads of all time. The remarkable Rube Goldberg-style spot featured a chain reaction of car parts that culminated in a finished Honda Accord. It took more than four months of prep time and 70 takes for the final shoot.

“How often do viewers get a glimpse of a car in anything less than the most flattering light, let alone disassembled with parts strewn around? It’s a testament to a brave client and agency,” Adweek’s Eleftheria Parpis wrote at the time.

The spot remains iconic. A couple of years ago, W+K’s Neil Christie even received a letter from a 10-year-old girl who seemed to have fallen in love with the ad. “It was astonishing how you did all of it,” she wrote. “How do you make it so smooth? It must have taken you months to get it right.”

Now, Honda Canada and the Ontario Honda Dealers—and ad agency ds+p—have made the first official sequel to “Cog.” Check it out below. Everything goes great. Until it doesn’t.

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People Fall in Love With Hondas, to the Music of Angels, in These Clearance Sale Ads

Ah, car dealerships. They’re such wondrous places, awash in glitter and vibrating to the ebullient rhythm of dancing feet and upbeat songs of love.

Well, that’s true for the showrooms in these new Honda Clearance Sale spots from RPA, at any rate. The campaign, which broke Monday, features covers of well-known pop tunes in what the automaker describes as an effort “to capture the moment people become smitten with a new Honda.”

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Leo Burnett Melbourne Tames Pink Horse for Honda

RPA Stages Weezer Singalong for Honda Pilot

RPA launched a campaign for the new 2016 Honda Pilot with two new broadcast spots which position the vehicle as “Ready for Anything.”

The 30-second “The Incredible Pilot Elite” presents “a demonstration in adaptability” with a mix of practical and CGI effects demonstrating the vehicle’s features. A second, 60-second spot directed by Jason Reitman (Juno, Up in the Air), shows a family on a road trip. One of the children starts singing the opening lines to the classic Weezer song “Buddy Holly” and soon the rest of the family joins in for a full singalong, passing by another family who laughs at them right after they get to the line “I don’t care what they say about us anyway.” It’s an unlikely scenario, to say the least, briefly showing off the vehicles spaciousness while undoubtedly getting the song stuck in viewers heads.

Broadcast spots will be slotted for cable, late night and early morning, and will run on CBS NFL, ESPN NCAA Football and ABC/ESPN NBA in the fall. They will also run on online channels including YouTube and Yahoo and through digital partnerships with Amazon, IMDB, TripAdvisor, Pinterest and Xbox. The campaign also includes a print component, which will run in publications including MotorTrend, Road & Track and Autoweek.

RPA Celebrates ‘The Power of Dreams’ for Honda

RPA created a campaign for Honda highlighting the brand’s promotion of Little League Baseball, NHL, IndyCar, Honda Classics and music performance series Honda Stage. The campaign focuses on five children, tracing back the steps from professional success to childhood dreams of stardom. “Slapshot” and “Finish Line,” the first two spots in the series, focus on the dreams of a young hockey player and IndyCar car racer.

Both spots make use of intriguing device, focusing on a single action, but using continuous camera action to give the illusion of time passing from one moment of the subject’s career to the next. To accomplish this, “a combination of high-speed motion control dollies and camera array systems were used to create a sense of depth and angle change within each near-frozen moment.” In all the rig made use of “over 75 cameras in order to move further through space in less time than any dolly physically could.” The result is the impression of slowly reversing time to capture the moment a child first dreamed of future greatness. It’s an interesting effect, even if the message and overall approach of the ads is a bit on the tired side.


Agency: RPA
EVP, CCO: Joe Baratelli
SVP, ECD: Jason Sperling
Creative Director/Art: Nik Piscitello
ACD/Copy: Jeff St Jean
Sr. Art Director: Suzie Yeranoysan
Copywriter: Ramiro Ramirez
SVP, Chief Production Officer: Gary Paticoff
VP, Executive Producer: Isadora Chesler
Sr. Producer: Eva Ellis

VP, Director of Business Affairs: Maria Del Homme
EVP, Management Account Director: Brett Bender
Sr. VP, Group Account Director, Honda Regional Marketing: Fern McCaffrey
Account Supervisor: Alison Bickel
Account Executive: Donny Menjivar
Account Assistant: Corinne Loder

Production Company: Laundry
Live Action
Production Company: Laundry Design
Directed by: Anthony Liu, PJ Richardson
Director of Photography: Christopher Mably
Executive Producer: Michael Bennett
Producer: Nadav Streett
Pitch Producer: Dan Masciarelli
Executive Line Producer: Jan Wieringa
Production Supervisor: Tim Nolan

Post Production and Visual Effects
Production Company: Laundry Design
Creative Director: Anthony Liu
Creative Director: PJ Richardson
Executive Producer: Michael Bennett
Post Producer: Nadav Streett
VFX Supervisor: Elad Offer
Editor: Justin Freedman
Assistant Editor: Erik Anderson
Post Coordinators: Kirsten Collabolletta, Cody Shelley
Matte Painter: Dark Hoffman
3D Animation: Mike Koh, Steve Sprinkles, Brad J Hayes, Yas Koyama
Particle Effects: Yang Liu
Compositors: Robert Hubbard, Lior Weiss, Claudia Yi Leon, Raphael Mosley, Nicole Choi, Eran Barnea, Peter Beak, Tahira Ali

Telecine: The Mill
INDY CAR/”Finish Line”
Colorist: Gregory Reese
Colorist: Adam Scott

Music: Massive Music
INDY CAR/”Finish Line”
Music and SFX: MassiveMusic
head of Production: Jessica Entner
Creative Director: Tim Adams
Composer: Nate Morgan
SFX: Peter Lauridsen

Music and SFX: MassiveMusic
head of Production: Jessica Entner
Creative Director: Tim Adams
Composer: Patrick McArthur
SFX: Peter Lauridsen

Honda Stage/”Drums”
Music and SFX: MassiveMusic
head of Production: Jessica Entner
Creative Director: Tim Adams
Composer: Tim Adams/Nate Morgan

Mix: Lime Studios
Engineer: Dave Wagg
Producer: Susie Boyajan

mcgarrybowen Travels the ‘Endless Road’ for Honda CR-V

It seems that Honda’s diesel CR-V brings out the best of mcgarrybowen London’s visual instincts.

The agency follows up its 2013 Cannes Gold Lion-winning, M.C. Escher-esque spot for the model (dubbed “Illusions”) by taking us on an infinite loop to promote the automaker’s 2015 edition with an ad called “Endless Road.” In a literal manifestation of the title, the new model traverses an infinite road like a runner on a track, with Bernard Hermann’s “Twisted Nerve” (remember Kill Bill Vol. 1?) providing the soundtrack.

Along with mcgarrybowen, digital production company MediaMonks and director Chris Palmer of Gorgeous played key roles in the campaign, which emphasizes the CR-V’s performance capabilities in illustrating how “the road to better never ends.”

While it’s not as visually stimulating as Honda efforts from the past couple of years, the tone, style and narrative serve the “Endless Road” quite well. You can check out a behind-the-scenes clip below and watch a literally infinite version on the CR-V’s dedicated YouTube site.

It beats your average screensaver.

Agency: mcgarrybowen, London
Executive Creative Directors: Angus Macadam, Paul Jordan
Creative Team: Charlotte Watmough, Holly Fallows
Planner: Michael McCourt
Agency Producer: Sian Parker
Business Director: Alice Tendler
Film Production: Gorgeous
Director: Chris Palmer
Executive Producer: Rupert Smythe
Editor: Scot Crane
Postproduction: Glassworks; FaTiBoo
Flame: Lewis Saunders
Creative Director (3-D): Jordi Bares @ Glassworks
Colorist: Seamus O’Kane @ The Mill
Digital Production: MediaMonks
Executive Producer: Wouter Smit
Producer: Rodrigo Alberini
Creative Directors: Jon Biggs, Alex Danklof
Project Manager: Sylvia van der Leen
Audio Production: Munzie Thind @ Grand Central
Music: Twisted Nerve Main Theme
Composer, Arranger: Bernard Herrmann

W+K London Tests Your Speed Reading for Honda

W+K London tests viewers speed reading abilities in a series of unconventional ads for Honda.

Entitled “Keep Up,” “Keep Up (Faster)” and “Keep Up (Even Faster,” the spots are inspired by speed reading apps that function by, as Adweek puts it, “displaying a single word on the screen at a time, one right after another in rapid succession,” along the reader to “not just beat but destroy the average reading pace of 220 words per minute.” W+K London employs the same tactic here, with words flashing by in quick succession, ending by asking the viewer, “Think you can push your limits even further?” before linking them to the next video, where the words scroll by even faster.

The main video has amassed over 150,000 views, and since the other two have almost as many it seems safe to say most viewers are taking Honda up on the challenge. W+K London does a good job of marrying the concept to the idea of pushing personal boundaries and finds a way to stand out in the crowded auto space.

Honda Teaches You to Speed Read in Three Ads That Go Faster and Faster

Honda teaches you to speed read in a series of ads which—in a nice nod to its vehicles—keep accelerating if you’re up for a challenge.

Apps have revolutionized speed read lately by displaying a single word on the screen at a time, one right after another in rapid succession. Partly because this reduces eye movement, these apps help readers not just beat but destroy the average reading pace of 220 words per minute. (Most of the apps default to 250 words a minute to start.)

The Honda campaign, from Wieden + Kennedy in London, uses the same technique—with the on-screen copy that flashes by in a trim, minimalist 40-second spot. A second ad lasts 30 seconds, with the text moving that much quicker. A third and final ad lasts just 20 seconds. (It’s kind of a shame there aren’t more. I was prepared to see how fast I could really go.)

The three spots combined have more than half a million YouTube views in a couple of days. That’s some speedy likes for some speedy reading.

Leo Burnett Gets Surreal for Honda

Leo Burnett, Melbourne launched a surreal ad for the new Honda HR-V called “Dreamrun.”

The spot opens on a man in a restaurant reading a book on lucid dreaming, the first clue that it doesn’t take place in waking reality. After looking down at his plate and seeing his eggs get all swimmy he leaves the restaurant, only to be chased by a pair of men telling him, “It’s time to wake up now, Brian.” He finds he’s holding a steering wheel as the Honda HR-V assembles before his eyes, functioning as his getaway vehicle. Things only get weirder from here as he’s joined by his talking pet dog.

It’s one of the stranger car ads you’ll see, and also one of the most visually striking, as Leo Burnett creates a surreal world and draws the viewer in. “Dreamrun” has enough surprises and humor to keep things interesting, and the concluding line “For wherever you dream of going” and subsequent “The Power of Dreams” tagline do a reasonable job of tying everything together.


Advertising Agency: Leo Burnett, Melbourne, Australia
Executive Creative Director: Jason Williams
Senior Copywriter: Garret Fitzgerald
Senior Art Director: Joe Hill
Senior Broadcast Producer: Cinnamon Darvall
Director: Nathan Price
Production Company: Goodoil Films
Executive Producer: Juliet Bishop
Producer: Claris Harvey
DOP: Ginny Loane
Production Designer: Guy Treadgold
Editor: Jack Hutchings / The Butchery

Skeletor Is Waging a Twitter Takeover of @Honda. Here Are the Best Moments So Far

One of the universe’s greatest villians has conquered the Twitter feed of one the world’s most recognized automotive brands.

Yes, it appears that Skeletor, the nemesis of He-Man (both of ’80s Saturday morning cartoon fame) has manned the controls of Honda’s Twitter account, coinciding with the brand’s newest campaign featuring famous toys promoting the Happy Honda Days sales event. 

The exchanges are actually pretty hilarious and range from trolling He-Man to sharing his #ManCrushMonday. Take a look:

Here’s where it all went down…

Sexiest troll alive:

Sick burn on He-Man.

Takes one to know one:

Old joke, new delivery:

Very literal, here:

Ha! Skeletor’s on fire!

No brand is safe, even Charmin.

Honda's Double-Sided Story on YouTube Is Mind-Bendingly Brilliant

Well, this might just blow your damn mind.

Honda and Wieden + Kennedy London have created a rather incredible “double-sided story” on YouTube to promote the Civic and its sportier sibling, the Civic Type R. While watching “The Other Side,” you can press and hold the “R” button on your keyboard to switch between parallel storylines. 

Watch it here: Honda’s “The Other Side.”

“We wanted people to feel Honda’s other side as well as see it,” W+K notes today on its blog, “so we dreamt up a technique that brings together both narratives through a simple interaction.” (The technique is a bit reminiscent of Interlude’s famous interactive music video for Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone.”)

Without revealing too much, I’ll just say the dual film directed by Daniel Wolfe follows the travels of a seemingly mild-mannered dad who leads a rather interesting double life. 

You can watch a few teasers below, but you really need to go see the full experience for yourself on YouTube.

OK Go Guys Ride Tiny Little Honda Unicycles in Their Fantastic New Video

Does OK Go release albums? Like, full-blown records with multiple songs on them? I don’t know. I don’t care. Their videos are enough for all of us.

Japanese creative agency Mori Inc. is behind this one. (You may remember creative director Morihiro Harano, who created that giant xylophone in the woods in that 2011 smartphone ad.) Like all of OK Go’s videos, it’s amazing. I would put it up there with the great Rube Goldberg device video for “This Too Shall Pass,” but maybe not quite as high as the truly awesome collaboration with dance troupe Pilobolus on “All Is Not Lost.”

Anyway, here it is:

Those amazing little motorcycles are the Honda U3-X, a very strange device with some kind of robotic gyroscope inside that keeps it from falling over, even when the guys are leaning back and forth on them. (To be fair, OK Go are samurai warriors when it comes to the art of not falling over.) I don’t want to give away the ending, but it gets nuts from there.

At any rate, the rock world’s answer to Cirque du Soleil is back. Hooray for them, and for us. And also for the drone or helicopter or whatever is filming this thing, because wow.

Fred Savage, Hired to Do Honda Voiceovers, Wants to Practice by Narrating Your Home Videos

Fred Savage will soon be the new voice of Honda. But he’s not exactly a voiceover specialist (that’s Daniel Stern you’re thinking of, Wonder Years fans). So, Honda agency RPA came up with a fun way to help him practice—by having Fred narrate your home videos first.

Anything you’ve got, feel free to throw at him. Babies, animals, vacations, weddings. Whatever you have documented on film, Fred wants to describe in his presumably dulcet tones. Just tweet your video with the hashtag #HondaPromo to get on the actor’s radar.

But are his tones dulcet? RPA says, actually, that Honda is hiring Savage because his voice stands out and doesn’t feel like a traditional car spokesperson. So, we’ll just have to see how that goes. It’s a more reasonable option, anyway, that the plea from someone on Twitter to “bring back Burgess Meredith.”

You'll Be Uncomfortably Surprised by This Honda Spec Ad That Just Got Leaked

There are lots of things to like about the Honda Fit. But one feature in particular might present some issues while you’re out there cruising for hours on the open road, Whitesnake blasting and the wind blowing through your hair.

We won’t spoil the punch line of this spec ad, created by A2F Pictures in Minneapolis. But take a look below and enjoy. After the video, check out our Q&A with the director, James Rautmann, in which we ask just what, exactly, he was thinking.

AdFreak: What was the inspiration for this ad?
James Rautmann: The inspiration came from wanting to make an ad that used text to give the punch line in a subtle way. Create an ah-ha moment. Let the audience make the assumption on what is really going on in the scene.

Tell us a bit about how you came up with the idea for the plot.
I was returning home from a shoot, and long story short we had to move white wine to an empty two-liter bottle for a shot. When I arrived home, I had to carry the bottle in past my neighbors. It definitely looked like it was filled with urine.

My business partner Mark, who co-wrote the spot with me, was with me, and I remarked how funny it would be if we told my neighbors that we had just returned from a long road trip and let them think what they wanted to about what was in that bottle.

With the help of Phil Jones, who not only helped in the writing process but also beautifully art directed the spot, our approach to a fuel-efficient ad was born.

Do you hope to create more spots like this?
Like as a campaign? It’s possible. I think overall the idea of creating a unique scenario that turns meaningless text into a joke is something I definitely want to keep pursuing.

Directed by James Rautmann
Written by James Rautmann, Mark Mazur and Phil Jones
Produced by Mark Mazur and Trent Hilborn
Executive Produced by Elizabeth Ryan-Govrik
Cinematography by Scott Regan
Art Direction by Phil Jones
Color and Finishing by Matt Collings at ditch
Production Sound by Nick Leisenheimer
Sound Design / Mix by Nick Christopulous
Talent: Eric Pierson
Song and Lyrics by Whitesnake “Here I Go Again”
Special thanks to Tracy Tabery-Weller and Chris Govrik
Production Company: A2F Pictures

You'll Be Hot and Cold on W+K's New Honda Work, and That's a Good Thing

This Honda Civic campaign by Wieden + Kennedy London is cool. And pretty warm, too.

The centerpiece is an engaging 30-second film that shows the freezing and thawing of a Civic on a stylized desert set. This dramatically illustrates that the automaker tests its vehicles at temperatures ranging from -22°F to +176°F. (This is helpful in case you’re planning a road trip from the North Pole to Hell.)

The tagline for the pan-European campaign is: “Reliability in the extreme.”

Delightful details include a cowboy skeleton that morphs into a snowman and a rolling tumbleweed/snowball. According to a post on W+K’s blog, the agency (and Johnny Hardstaff, who directed through RSA Films) encased the car in ice and let it melt over five hours—filming 200 takes using a motion-control rig, with 3-D enhancements providing the skeleton’s transformation and other effects.

An interactive version is in the works that will allow users to control temperature changes and see the results. I wish they’d let us melt the Civic into a plastic-metal soup, then freeze it until it explodes into sparkling, razor-sharp shards of ice. Now that would be some fancy branding!

Nissan also recently launched ads that show the temperature testing of its vehicles. Though with Poison’s Bret Michaels performing a power-schlock version of “Endless Love,” that campaign is extreme for entirely different reasons.

Check out a print ad from the campaign below.

Honda Accosts Twitter Users With Videos, Memes, GIFs and Other 'Morsels of Cheer'

It’s a special week in Honda land, as ad agency RPA is enacting a sweeping plan to spread good cheer—online and off—as part of a five-day “Summer Cheerance” event.

A ket part of the campaign involves interacting with people on Twitter—replying to seemingly random posts with “funny, crazy or just plain weird cheer videos, memes and GIFs,” the automaker says.

Check out a few of those here.

Facebook and YouTube will also be used. Notably, the brand has teamed with YouTube star Andrew Hales (of LAHWF fame) for two videos—the first of which is already live:

There will be real-world events, too, in select cities across the country. The brand will leave piñatas filled with goodies at random locations; use a “Cheer Detector” at a beach to find buried treasure chests and share them with onlookers; and place “Stand Here for Cheer” boxes in public places, encouraging people to climb up and receive a surprise act of cheer (like being serenaded by a saxophonist).

A Summer Cheerance station will also feature happy tunes on Pandora. The campaign also includes six TV spots (featuring dramatizations of actual social media posts from people who are unhappy with their current cars); banner ads on auto sites like, and and on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube; print ads in People, Sports Illustrated and top-market local newspapers; and network radio spots.

The goal is to spread cheer to 3 million people. (A ticker is keeping track of the tally at Upon reaching that goal, Honda will donate $100,000 to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.

“We are committed to spreading unprecedented cheer and connecting with as many people as we possibly can in five days,” said Susie Rossick, senior manager at American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “This collection of silly and wonderful morsels of cheer across social media, and in real life, are designed to make an impact, create smile-filled buzz and remind people that summer is the best time to get a great deal on a Honda.”

Credits below.

Client: American Honda
Project: Honda Summer Cheerance Event

Agency: RPA
EVP, CCO: Joe Baratelli
SVP, ECD: Jason Sperling
SVP, Chief Production Officer: Gary Paticoff
Creative Director: Nik Piscitello
Creative Director: Aron Fried
Art Directors: Melinda Keough, Michael Jason Enriquez, Craig Nelson
Copywriters: Kevin Tenglin, Laura Kelley, Adam Gothelf
Creative Interns: Dennis Haynes, Megan Leinfelder, Sarah Ross, Sarah Johnston
VP, Executive Producer: Isadora Chesler
Producer: Phung Vo
Director/Sr. Producer, Content: Mark Tripp
Production Intern: Rudy Wilson

VP, Program Director: Dave Brezinski
Sr. Project Manager: Linda Shin

SVP, Management Account Director: Brett Bender
SVP, Group Account Director: Fern McCaffrey
Account Supervisor: Adam Levitt
Account Supervisor: Alison Bickel
Account Executive: Katie Ahn
Account Assistant: Wendy Kleinberg
Social Media: Joanna Kennedy, Tyler Sweeney, Mike Goldys, Amanda Womack

Production Company: RPA
Director: Mark Tripp

Editorial: RPA
Editor: Wendy Sandoval

Honda Targets Hispanic Millennials by Mocking the Way Brands Target Hispanic Millennials

Young Latino consumers: They’re hip! They’re mobile! They lead active, on-the-go lifestyles!

They’re also, you know, pretty much like anybody else—though that’s something marketers rarely want to hear when they’re paying small fortunes for demographic “experts” to demystify the millennials who live at an every-growing cultural crossroads in America.

Honda pokes some fun at the marketing world’s Hispanic fixation in its newest ads from the Santa Monica-based Orci agency for the Fit. Wild-haired comedian Felipe Esparza serves as a tour guide of sorts into the world of young Latinos, only to find that they’re mostly just focused on running errands and getting to work.

“Are we going to a party?” he asks a couple from the back seat. 

“We’re…just going to the movies,” the young woman replies.

He’s also shocked to learn that instead of packing their trunk with trendy fixies, they’re just grabbing groceries. “Groceries? Rebels!” 

Agency president Andrew Orcí says the spots, shot in Spanish and English, began with the idea that brands often try to fit Hispanic consumers into specific patterns and niches, when in fact it’s a group that’s pretty much impossible to lump into a few convenient categories.

“Latino millennials are much more than what we make of them. They are a versatile bunch. They ping-pong between cultures, languages, interests and behaviors. That’s why it’s funny when you hear others trying to fit them into their box of clichés,” Orcí says.

“Felipe Esparza, as our ‘Latino expert,’ is the perfect voice to make fun of this situation. Why? Because not even a Latino can define a Latino. They simply defy all expectations.”


It’s a Four-Shop Race to Fill Honda’s Digital Needs

American Honda Motor Company works hard to keep up with the competition but hasn’t been quite so successful in the hybrid space. Honda’s Prius equivalent may have been called The Insight, but the company recently pitted all three major holding companies against one another in the search for a bit more of that key noun.
Other campaigns have gone viral (shout out to Michael Bolton) and, according to AdWeek, Honda spends approximately $50 million on digital advertising each year.
Now who’s competing for that money?

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

Honda Creates Bottled Water Brand in Honor of Vehicle That Emits Only Drinkable H2O

The compressed hydrogen-powered Honda FCX runs so clean, its exhaust contains only water—and it's so clean, it's drinkable. To celebrate this, Honda Australia and Leo Burnett Melbourne came up with a memorable stunt—creating a new bottled-water brand, H2O.

As seen in the case study below, the automaker gave the water away in movie theaters around Australia (as free samples, no less) as a way of showing people what they're doing for the environment. There are also plans to make the water available at Honda service stations and dealerships.

Copy on the bottle reads: "Delicious, fresh H2O from a pristine mineral spring, cool mountain glacier or … the exhaust pipe of the Honda FCX. The world's first hydrogen-powered car that emits only water. Water so clean and pure, you could put it in a bottle and drink it. Now isn't that refreshing?"

Note the use of "could." It doesn't appear that this water is actually the by-product of FCX. Still, a neat idea. The product is nicely designed, too, with an effective minimalist aesthetic. I really like how well the Honda logo works as the hydrogen symbol in H20.

Via Popsop.

Honda tenta solucionar o problema dos “invasores de espaços pessoais”

Quem nunca passou por alguma situação em que teve seu espaço pessoal invadido? No transporte público esse tipo de situação é comum, mas não para por aí, como mostra Personal Space Invaders, novo filme que a Leo Burnett de Melbourne criou para para o Honda City.

E apesar de não ter muito sucesso em lidar com o cara que gruda atrás de você na fila do caixa eletrônico ou que te usa como travesseiro no ônibus, a montadora mostra que consegue solucionar pelo menos um dos problemas causados por esses invasores: aqueles motoristas que não conseguem estacionar direito. Ficou divertido.

honda honda1 honda2

Brainstorm9Post originalmente publicado no Brainstorm #9
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