The Dew Army, or Dew fad is where an audio clip is made into a Mondegreen using text and image. The humor comes from the disparity between the image and what it represents, and the song loop and its context. Many have considered any site with misheard lyrics to be 'Dew Army' - however they are mistaken. A Dew Army should always be picture/sound/text, staying true to the classic YTMND formula and never have 'dew army' in the title. It should be strong enough to stand on its own.
Dew got its name from the DEW!!!! YTMND. It is similar to the interpretation fad but does not require a full listening of a long sound clip. The announcement of the Dew Army contest started a new wave of creations with an accompanying guidelines site imitating a black-and-white newsreel.
There are three categories of Dew Army site:
One or two words are presented in text which are homophones with the 'misheard' or 'misinterpreted' word, and tie in with the image. Some sites follow the original "Dew!" concept exactly; they are based on an exact homophone. To use the most obvious example, "Dew!" sounds exactly like "Du!". Another example would be "A tack" sounding exactly like "Attack!". The fad has been expanded to include misheard lyrics; the two phrases don't have to be exactly phonetically the same. To use a well known example, one might take the line 'There's a bad moon on the rise' from the chorus of CCR's 'Bad Moon Rising', include behind it a picture of a hallway with a bathroom, and set the text as 'bathroom on the right'. The misheard phrase is phonetically different than the original, but still sounds close to it. Examples:
The phrase is presented in text as sung, but humor comes from the wide gulf between the contexts of the image and the sung phrase. Examples:
This style uses an entire line from a song, either a non-English language song or a rock song where the words are sung so forcefully they're unclear. As in the direct style, the text renders the misinterpretation - however the image is a contrived assembly of objects which visually spell out the phrase. These tend to produce lesser 'dew army' although as always there are occasional standouts which become popular. This style is somewhat similar to the Interpretation fad. Example:
In a Dew Army site, any style of music may be used. In the case of the Dew site using misinterpreted words, the words can be heard in different ways because they are not enunciated clearly by the singer or are masked by loud music.
With any Dew site, the preference is for everyday mundane objects, as opposed to artwork, celebrities, pop culture icons, etc. This is usually enhanced by dramatic vocals, made to appear over-dramatic by their contrast with said image.
It is a severe no-no to put 'dew army' in the title of a Dew Army styled YTMND. The surprise of an original soundclip and misinterpretation is dulled by letting the viewer know in advance what style of site it will be.
When a Dew site is well executed, the humor is fairly instantaneous and gets a very positive response. However, many site creators take too literal of an approach and simply attatch an image of exactly what the phrase is talking about, and these sites are not judged favorably.
The Dew Army contest, coordinated by MasterSitsu, has far surpassed other YTMND contests in terms of participation. Entries were judged by a secret panel of YTMND users. The deadline to submit an entry was on the midnight of March 13th, 2006. Runners-up were announced in stages leading up to the announcement of the winner. The top entrants' songs were featured as a special bonus disc for YTMND Soundtrack Volume 10.