Jackson Kayak lauches JKTV

When it comes to making adventure media not everyone should. Product manufacturers in particular tend to have a hard time separating the creative from the commercial. But this week Tennessee-based Jackson Kayak launched a new monthly video series that could become the model for sharing a company’s passion of outdoor recreation while promoting the products that make it possible.

JKTV is the latest in a long line of online productions from the first family of paddling. For decades Eric Jackson along with is wife Kristine, his daughter Emily and son Dane have inspired boaters on waterways throughout the country along the way boosting their company Jackson Kayak. Quick to pick up on emerging technology the Jacksons have always shared their adventures over the Internet.

“We have been doing YouTube videos for a long time,” said Eric “EJ” Jackson in a recent email exchange. “And it works really well for us getting the message out on new products, for branding, and yes, developing an audience.”

            Traveling around the world both as competitors and explorers in kayaking the Jacksons are ambassadors of their sport. They’ve also worked at raising the level of enthusiasm among new paddlers and experts alike. Online videos are a big part of Jackson Kayak’s brand development strategy. And EJ said JKTV is the next step in bringing his company’s culture and character to a new group of viewers.

“JKTV was created to take advantage of our in-house capabilities with my son-in-law Nick Troutman and my son Dane,” he said. Their filming, editing, and media skills have developed well beyond the “home video” style YouTube stuff.”

It’s the production value of JKTV that makes this program truly worthwhile. With live-action shot on location at exotic paddling spots the show has the feel of a travel log. Extremely well edited and scored with just the right mix of music it’s a pleasure to watch despite plenty of product placements. Not to be confused for an infomercial JKTV is sparse on the sales pitch but rich in compelling content. The show offers a good combination of humor and practical instruction to inspire paddlers of all interests and abilities.

“It is all part of a broader picture being painted by Jackson Kayak, encompassing a variety of paddling styles (exploring, freestyle, river running, creeking, casual recreation, and kids),” EJ said. “A video magazine online is a big project, but will be a main tool for Jackson Kayak marketing going forward.”


Watch JKTV Episode 1 on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/embed/8UjjEpAJPL0


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I’m a freelance journalist that specializes in telling stories about outdoor recreation, environmental conservation, acts of charitable giving and practices of sustainable living.