Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) is ready to capitalize on the monster ratings expected for the sixth season of talent show phenomenon ‘American Idol,’ which garnered 37.3 million viewers on Tuesday.

The soft-drink maker is launching new commercials and giving fans the opportunity to interact with the show. Themes of the new commercials are consistent with February’s upcoming Black History Month, and the “Coke Side of Life” global marketing campaign which launched last year. ‘Idol’ currently commands up to $600,000 per commercial per 30-second ad according to trade magazine Advertising Age.

These initial programs are just the beginning of a full slate of marketing and innovation initiatives across our broad variety of brands, said Katie Bayne, senior vice president, for Coca-Cola brands, Coca-Cola North America. From advertising to promotions and brand launches, Coca-Cola North America has a lot happening in 2007 and this new advertising and our AMERICAN IDOL program are a great way to get things rolling.

In yesterday’s debut, the soft-drink maker launched a new ad entitled, “Timeline,” which features contributions which African Americans have made to culture, science and community. The commercial is part of a larger multimedia campaign from the company’s African-American marketing division.

The company will also launch two ads based on the company’s “Coke Side of Life” marketing campaign which the company launched last year after retiring the “Real” series of advertisements.

The commercials, which will be seen on television for the first time, are called “Happiness Factory” and “Video Game.” The ads – which have been floating around the Internet since last year – are computer graphics based spots. feature one which gives a look inside a Coke dispensing machine, revealing a Rube Goldberg-type process at work.

The other commercial follows a character having the outward appearance of similar types found in the “Grand Theft Auto” series of video games, except the Coke character has a positive twist.

Coca-Cola branding opportunities will also let fans submit questions to contestants online through the My Coke Rewards program website and in a separate promotion through the American Idol website, will be able to suggest new designs for the Coca-Cola cups placed in front of the ‘Idol’ judges during the competition. Contestants will also be seen on camera relaxing in the Red Room sponsored by the company.

Shares of Coca-Cola Co. rose 10 cents, or 0.21 percent, to close at $48.60 on the New York Stock Exchange.