One Song, Two Words, and $175 Million

Talk about milking something for all it’s worth.

Dieter Meier, a 71-year old musician from Switzerland, and Boris Blank, his partner in the band Yello, are the creators of the iconic song “Oh, Yeah” that made its debut in the classic 1986 film, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”

Since that debut, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal, the song has appeared in several films:

  • The Secret of My Success
  • She’s Out of Control
  • K-9
  • Not Another Teen Movie
  • Soul Plane

TV shows:

  • Glee
  • South Park
  • Saturday Night Live
  • Eight episodes of “The Simpsons.”

and a video game:

  • Gran Turismo 4

It has also been used in commercials for Twix bars and Hondas.

As the song began to have significant financial success, Meier proved to be just as savvy with investing his earnings as he was with writing lyrics. He used the royalty proceeds as seed capital for his investments, which now include the following:

  • Mr. Meier own a large stake in BVZ Holding AG, a railway company that takes tourists on trips to the Matterhorn.
  • Mr. Meier is the second largest stakeholder in Orell Füssli Holding AG, the company that prints Swiss francs.
  • Mr. Meier invested in Swiss luxury watchmaker Ulysse Nardin, which was sold to the French firm Kering SA in 2014 for an undisclosed amount—before a decline in Swiss watch exports.
  • Mr. Meier owns about 250,000 acres of land in Argentina, which he uses to grow grapes for wine and raise beef cattle.
  • Mr. Meier, along with partners in Switzerland and Germany, owns six restaurant
  • Mr. Meier recently acquired the rights to a patented extraction process for cacao beans, and he is planning a large chocolate factory.

A Swiss magazine estimated his net worth at $175 million.

Not a bad payday for a song that has the following lyrics:

Oh yeah
Oh yeah
Oh yeah
The moon, beautiful
The sun, even more beautiful
Oh yeah
Oh yeah
Oh yeah

Oh yeah
Oh yeah

According to my calculations, that’s $7 million per word.

Which makes this blog past worth about $2.4 billion, but out of the goodness of my heart, I am sharing with my loyal readers for free.

Oh yeah.

2 thoughts on “One Song, Two Words, and $175 Million

  1. Interesting. While I don’t comment often, i read your posts frequently and enjoy the range of topics. Thanks Jim and hope all is well with you and your family.


    1. Thank you for your feedback Patrick. Sometimes I think it would be better to have a more focused blog, but then I don’t think I could write every day. Hence the wide range of topics. Hope all is well with you and your family as well!


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