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YouTube stars reach where TV can't

Companies cast net wider than traditional ad channels

Tomy used popular YouTube star Hikakin to promote Hatchimals, its interactive, egg-shaped toy. (Courtesy of Tomy)

TOKYO -- As smartphones play an increasingly prominent role in people's lives and their TV viewing habits change, it has become increasingly difficult for companies to market products through traditional methods. 

One of Tomy's biggest successes in the past year has been Hatchimals, an egg-shaped toy that needs to be cared for by its owner before it eventually hatches to reveal a little creature.

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