GREENVILLE, Ill. — In the world of social media influencers, the Clark family has carved out a unique niche by being themselves. Known as “That Tall Family,” this tight-knit clan has captured the hearts of viewers across various platforms with their lighthearted and family-friendly content. With Carter Clark towering at 7’1″, their height has become a part of their identity, but their journey into the world of social media was a serendipitous adventure that brought them together as a unit and garnered them unexpected fame.
They became an internet sensation after Rob posted a video of his son Carter, at age two, putting on some socks and failing as a two-year-old would.
“A lot of people jumped on social media early; they just found it interesting and fun, addicting, whatever you want to call it,” said Rob. “When I posted the first video of him trying to put his socks on, I recorded that, and it’s like 30 seconds long. And then I dubbed over the video with a song. The song was like the hook.”
Rob said that the song had lyrics such as “It sucks to be you” in it but was not sure of the name of the song or the artist.
“I uploaded that to YouTube, and I was just posting videos. And it’s funny looking back and realizing that’s very similar to what you’d see on TikTok today,” he said.
From home videos to internet stardom
Little did they know that this video would lay the foundation for their online presence. As YouTube’s popularity grew, the Clarks found themselves riding the wave, making videos that showcased their close-knit family dynamic.
“But here’s the problem: I didn’t have a job, and my wife and I talked about whether we should sell our house and rent in Georgia; that’ll give us a bit of time. We’ll have some money saved up, and let’s push into social media. For every job that I’ve always had, I’ve always used social media,” said Rob. “Somehow, some way, I was confident that we could use it.”
“What I thought was going to happen is that we could get enough views that eventually it’s going to build awareness that will lead to a job in marketing or a job in sales or something. But after we decided to focus on social media as we were packing up our house and making videos, I think maybe our 4th or 5th video went for a couple million views, and then I knew we could make this happen. It went much faster than I thought. Within six months, we were getting brand deals, and then, for us, TikTok blew up.”
Balancing fame and family
As their social media following grew, opportunities began to arise. The family started receiving brand deals and collaboration requests. From Warner Brothers to Walmart, they’ve worked with various big names, showcasing their appeal as relatable influencers.
“I think as of today, we’re a little over 3 million followers and just right at 3 billion views since March 2021,” said Rob.
“I wouldn’t say it’s an 8-hour-a-day job. There are a bunch of different influencers, but for us, we really do focus on some kind of short 15-second videos, and so there’s not a lot of thought or production that goes into them,” said Rob. “Our biggest video of all time has 220 million views on YouTube. By the time I thought of it, we had filmed and edited it. It was probably a 2-minute process. But when it comes to the actual work, it’s reaching out to brands, talking to brands, and negotiating brands because that’s where most of our money comes from as brand deals.”
But they’ve made it clear that family always comes first. The Clarks emphasize that their involvement in social media is a collective decision. If any member wants to step back, they’re free to do so.
“Right from when we decided to do this as a family, we all talked, and so it was a discussion before we even started. We’ve had conversations as a family, and each of the kids knows that they always, at any time, need a break because there are days when, like, I just don’t feel like making a video, that’s fine,” said Rob. “We don’t make anyone, and it’s not a big deal, and if any of the kids just want to be done with it, they could be done with it.”
The power of positive content
One of the cornerstones of “That Tall Family” is their commitment to family-friendly content. Rob and his children, including Carter, Abby, Avery, and Luke, are keen on creating a positive environment for their viewers. While social media can be a breeding ground for negativity, the Clarks aim to brighten their audience’s day with heartwarming videos that resonate with people of all ages. Whether it’s Carter’s basketball exploits, the siblings’ interactions, or their everyday adventures, the content is designed to make people smile.
“We are very cautious and very family-friendly. If we want it to be as if a 5-year-old is watching our content on any platform, then we would be OK with that,” said Rob. “There was one time we did a video, and then the girls said there was a swear word in the song. We changed the song.”
“One of the things we don’t want is swear words. We don’t do anything that’s inappropriate,” said Rob. “We spend a lot of time together as a family, and enjoying that is what we really want to show, because there is some negative stuff on the Internet as a whole.”
Lessons learned along the way
While fame has its perks, the Clarks understand the importance of staying grounded. Carter, who has ambitions of playing college basketball, appreciates the social interactions but also acknowledges that he’s an introverted individual. Being recognized comes with moments of awkwardness, but it’s all part of the package.
“I don’t want to say anything socially awkward, but I am a little more introverted. But I do like people. People like to come up and talk and be friendly and stuff, because a lot of people like to stop and stare and stuff, and because I’m a little more awkward, it just is super awkward for the both of us,” Carter said. “When you’re a little more of a public person, and you’re on social media, I think that just helps kind of push people to go and not be as awkward and talk to you. I mean, I enjoy it. I have been going to basketball camps throughout this experience.”
Obviously, with Carter being 7’1″, there are a lot of times when he gets recognized first, but we’re at the point now where the girls get recognized quite a bit,” said Rob.
“It’s interesting because I’ve always been tall, and so we go out and go to malls and stuff, and people would always stop and ask if I was playing basketball, how tall I was, that whole thing,” said Carter. “And I still get quite a lot of people asking that sort of thing, but a lot of it is now like, are you the guy from TikTok? And I’ve kind of figured out now what places people will ask more questions about, and if I really don’t feel like it, I’ll just be like, No, I’m going to sit in the car for this one. Or if we’re in the mall, I’ll be like, I’m just going to not go into that store right now. But I’m pretty laid back anyway as it is, so I don’t mind it too much, but some days, I am just going to stay at home.”
Rob, on the other hand, has found an unexpected career as a content creator and even a university instructor, teaching social media classes.
“I do work for the university as well, so for the last year I’ve worked for the university as a content creator, doing the same thing I do now,” said Rob. “But this year, I’m actually going to be teaching some classes for the university on social media.”
“I’m going to make him take some of the classes,” Rob said, talking about Carter.
Future aspirations and staying true
As the Clarks continue their social media journey, they’re excited about future possibilities. Whether it’s collaborations, sponsorships, or expanding their reach, they’re ready for whatever comes their way.
“But our family is close. They enjoy spending time together, and we moved back to Greenville a year ago. Last summer we moved back, and I have family in the area, so we decided to come back, and it’s been a great fit. There are a lot of positives about small town living,” said Rob.