Purpose – This paper aims to demonstrate the utility of branding theory for social marketing services. Specifically, this is to our knowledge the first to investigate brand personality (BP) and brand personality appeal (BPA) in a single study as predictors for consumer attitudes and intentions to engage with a service. Design/methodology/approach – The associations between BP and BPA and their subsequent associations with attitudes and intentions are tested in two service types, i.e. a commercial marketing service (banking) and a social marketing service (health screening). This involved a cross-sectional dual online survey administered to a sample of 395 women 50-69 years old in Queensland, Australia. This sampling criterion represented the primary target audience for the social marketing service, which was breastscreening and was maintained for the banking services sample. Multiple mediation analysis using a bootstrapping approach was conducted using Mplus 6.11. Findings – BP and BPA perform similarly across the two service types. BP and BPA are related and have direct and indirect associations with consumer attitudes and behavioural intentions towards both commercial and social marketing services. Specifically, the BP traits of responsibility and activity were found to have significant direct and indirect relationships with attitudes and behavioural intentions towards both commercial and social marketing services. The relationships for the emotionality and simplicity traits were non-significant. The results also suggest that the attractiveness, favourability and clarity BPA traits had the strongest associations with consumer responses. Originality/value – This study demonstrates the utility of using branding in social marketing services, which to date has been under-utilised. It also offers originality by combining BP and BPA in the same empirical inquiry, which to date has been examined separately. A new and alternative factor structure for BPA is provided, and future research is recommended to further examine BPA in this and other contexts.