The fear of losing an important memory became a service which could help process grief

When we have lost a loved one, we often save memories of the person, it can be anything from photographs to old letters and voice messages on an answering machine. These memories can provide comfort and experts say they can even have a positive impact on coping with grief. However, a digital memory runs the risk of being lost, and therefore the telecommunications company Telenor Sweden has made it possible to save voice messages forever with the free service “Missed calls”. NORD DDB has developed the service and created the campaign.

“Every day, around 60,000 voice messages are left in our network, between people, and some of these can be very meaningful. We at Telenor Sweden are proud to have developed the service Missed Calls which allows our customers to preserve memories they hold dear, and perhaps it could also help someone process their grief”, says Robert Nygren, head of advertising and media at Telenor Sweden.

Saving a voicemail from a deceased loved one can provide comfort and a sense of security in being able to hear the voice when needed. Studies show that hearing your mothers voice increases the level of oxytocin, also known as the love hormone, meaning a voicemail from a close person can bring comfort in a difficult situation. To make it easier for loved ones in grief, Telenor has developed the free service, Missed Calls, with the opportunity to download voice messages as a sound file.

“Maintaining a bond with a person who has passed away is an important part of the grieving process. A common worry among loved ones can be forgetting the person’s voice, and a saved voice message can then be a way to maintain this bond, which in turn can have a positive impact on the processing of grief”, says Josefin Sveen, professor in clinical psychology who has researched about grief and also developed an app for parents in grief.

The idea for the service emerged when Josephine Wallin Ankarstrand, creative director at NORD DDB, lost a voice message her stepdad left on her voicemail shortly before he passed away. She then suggested to Telenor that there should be a service which could save voicemails forever.

“I thought about a voicemail from my stepdad which meant so much to me and which I was so afraid to lose. And then the thought came to mind, what if someone could help save something so valuable forever? Something that could also help someone in their grief”, says Josephine Wallin Ankarstrand, creative director at NORD DDB.

When Telenor and NORD DDB researched the subject further, more testified that they in various ways had tried to ensure their voicemails would not disappear. One person carried around an old phone to keep access to a voicemail from her mother. Another hadn’t updated her phone in five years in fear that a voicemail from her daughter would be lost, something that would feel like losing her all over again.

“It’s from my mum. She passed away almost 12 years ago. It’s a constant reminder that she is still there, even though she has passed away. And in times when I feel very far away from her, it helps me feel a little bit closer. Whenever I hear it, I get to hear her voice and that is a huge gift for me”, says one person about a saved voicemail from his mother and which he has approved for Telenor to include in the campaign.

Missed Calls is a web app where Telenor customers register with their phone number. After two-step verification, users can download their voice messages as sound files to either mobile or desktop.

Source: NORD DDB

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