Evidence-based health promotion programmes are based on empirical data and theory. While a broad range of social and behavioural science theories are available, the actual application of these theories in programme design remains a real challenge for health promotion planners. Intervention Mapping describes a protocol for the development of theory- and evidence-based health promotion programmes. It provides guidelines and tools for the selection of theoretical foundations and underpinnings of health promotion programmes, for the application of theory, and for the translation of theory in actual programme materials and activities. This article presents the protocol and elaborates on the application of theory, using examples from successful intervention programmes.