people magazine channing tatumHere’s the latest issue of People, sporting their opinion as to the Sexiest Man Alive. This picture is genuinely different to what anyone might have have expected. The image is coy, slightly sideways on. There’s an awul lot of green involved, which is not a conventional ‘sexy’ colour. And there’s very little flesh, which is surprising given that Channing Tatum is the totally ripped and often topless star of Magic Mike.

So does it work?

The Daily Mail certainly think so, as it has featured prominently in their ‘Right Rail Of Shame’. Opinion in the office has been divided, some are impressed by the ‘off-ish’ stance, and that idea he’s ‘definitely saying something with his eyes’. Others have been less kind, ‘Doofus’ has been mentioned.

But what is a matter of fact, is that this thing will totally rock on the newsstand, the four bright colours alone will see to that. But mixing them down just a touch, and combining with blends and a transparency, keep it feeling premium, at least by mass market measurement. This is a hard act to pull off, as discussed here a few months ago.

The story above the logo is spot on (Vanity Fair have just named the Petraeus scandal ‘Boneland’), and the Justin & Selena split feels like newsstand catnip to me.┬áThe lines are good too: ‘Affleck, Beckham, Gosling, shirtless, mustached – and with their dogs‘.

Most importantly, the attention this cover is generating reminds us that succesfull print magazine covers remain highly social, and highly sharable.