ALDO, the Canada-based worldwide retailer of shoes and accessories, is holding an online contest running now through December 6.

The ALDO Shoes "Let's Dance!" contest invites Web users to submit homemade dance videos for a chance to win two grand prizes of $2,500 CAD ($2,494 USD) plus a $500 CAD ($499 USD) ALDO gift card. Five runner-ups will receive a $500 ALDO gift card.

The four contest judges - Tony Dovolani of the reality television competition Dancing With The Stars, Karen Blanchard of the blog Where Did U Get That, Elizabeth Spiridakis of the blog White Lightning, and Charlotte Abrahams, a choreographer/dancer - will pick one grand prize winner. The following criteria will be used for their selection: Innovative use of clothing and accessories (five points), innovative dance style (five points), and overall creativity (ten points).

The other grand prize winner, as well as the five runner-ups, will be chosen directly by the public. Every time a video entry is viewed or shared via a social networking site on the Internet, it will earn points. For instance, each "view" on YouTube earns one point, each "like" on YouTube earns two points, each "tweet" on Twitter earns three points, and each "share" on Facebook earns three points. The video entry with the highest score on the closing date of the contest (December 6) will be declared the winner.

To enter the contest, you must visit ALDO's "Let's Dance" dedicated website, download an official soundtrack to be used in your video ("Sweet Sixteen" by Think About Life), and submit your video online. The contest is open to all legal residents of Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

Contests like ALDO's "Let's Dance!" that encourage users to create content around a brand are becoming increasingly popular in the fashion industry. Companies like to experiment with new marketing strategies via social media outlets given their viral nature and ability to generate buzz. In March 2010, for instance, Saks Fifth Avenue and Jimmy Choo partnered with the fashion community Closet Couture on an online contest centered on styling. Internet users accessed virtual Saks and Jimmy Choo closets on Closet Couture to style designer outfits to match Jimmy Choo shoes. The footwear company then selected three winners who each received three pairs of shoes.